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East Lancashire peer defends Clegg over Rennard issue
1:49pm Wednesday 27th February 2013 in News
LEADING East Lancashire Liberal Democrat Tony Greaves has defended his leader Nick Clegg over claims he allowed a cover-up over the alleged behaviour of ex-party chief executive, Lord Rennard.
Lord Greaves, a Pendle councillor, said he knew nothing of complaints about his fellow peer’s conduct towards women.
He spoke out as Lib Dem president Tim Farron admitted they ‘screwed it up as a party’.
Lord Rennard denies the allegations, which pre-date Mr Clegg’s leadership.
Lord Greaves, who first met Lord Rennard in 1979 Liverpool Edge Hill by-election and worked closely with him in several such campaigns in the 1980s and 1990s, said: “I was not aware of any allegations against Lord Rennard and I keep my ear close to the ground.
“I don’t think there was any cover-up by Nick Clegg.
“He heard about general allegations from unnamed sources and asked his chief of staff to look into them and speak to Lord Rennard. What else was he supposed to do? The specific allegations now are different matter and correct procedures are being followed.”
Lord Greaves said that the question now was not whether there were any ‘mild sexual advances’ but whether Lord Rennard misused his portion of authority in the party.