Liverpudlian Rennard in Lib Dems row

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Lord Rennard was born and raised in Liverpool © Alex Folkes/Fishnik Photography (via Wikipedia/Creative Commons)

Lord Rennard was born and raised in Liverpool © Alex Folkes/Fishnik Photography (via Wikipedia/Creative Commons)

Liverpool-born Liberal Democrat peer Lord Rennard has been suspended from the party after he has declined to apologise over claims that he sexually harassed women.

Lord Rennard, a former pupil of the Bluecoat School in Liverpool and ex-chief executive of the Liberal Democrats, has insisted that has done nothing wrong and wishes to once again take up his seat in the House of Lords.

Today an internal party commission met to decide the fate of the 53-year-old peer, and concluded that his membership should be suspended with further disciplinary hearings to follow.

Lord Rennard confirmed that he would not be appearing in the House of Lords, as had been previously expected.

At a Regional Parties Commission on Monday, the Liberal Democrats decided they would be taking action against Lord Rennard.

The meeting concluded that the peer had failed to apologise, as requested to do so by an independent investigation previously.

Lord Rennard is accused of sexually harassing several women last year.  Now, he wishes to be re-admitted to the party whip, but he will not be able to do so unless he makes a formal apology.

Lord Rennard says that he cannot make any sort of an apology as this would be an admission of guilt and leave him open to civil prosecution. The women accusing him have said that should an apology be given, no further action will be taken.

Bridget Harris, one of four of the women accusing Lord Rennard, has resigned from the party, calling it an “absolute mess”. Others have threatened to do the same should the whip be re-instated.

About Andrew McKenna, JMU Journalism