Peer quizzed over harassment claims
Senior Liberal Democrat peer Lord Rennard has been interviewed by police under caution over allegations he sexually harassed women party activists.
A Scotland Yard spokesman said a 52-year-old man had voluntarily attended a south London police station by appointment on Sunday. His solicitors said in a statement: "We can confirm that Lord Rennard agreed to meet with the police and that he welcomed his first opportunity to refute the basis of allegations made against him. We do not intend to make any further statement until the conclusion of the police inquiry."
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and two other Lib Dem ministers - Danny Alexander and Jo Swinson - were last week sharply criticised in a review into the party's handling of the complaints made against Lord Rennard when he was the Lib Dem chief executive.
Businesswoman Helena Morrissey, who conducted the inquiry, said that there should have been a formal investigation launched when his alleged victims first came forward.
In February it emerged that a number of woman activists and party workers had made allegations of unwanted advances, but when they reported the claims little action was taken.
Mr Clegg has said that he took full responsibility for ''flaws'' in the way senior Lib Dems had handled allegations against Lord Rennard. He said the party had to take the criticism in Ms Morrissey's report ''on the the chin'' and take steps to improve the Lib Dems' procedures to ensure any future complaints were properly dealt with.
During his phone-in show on LBC 97.3 on Thursday, Mr Clegg said: ''Of course, I take responsibility as leader of that organisation for the flaws that are identified in the report. 'Mistakes were made. I take responsibility for those mistakes. It is my job to identify them, to do that openly and to fix them.''
The report acknowledged that changes had been made ''which go some way to fixing these issues'' but ''we need to do more'', he said. Mr Clegg sidestepped questions about whether he would take a diversity course, as recommended for the party by Ms Morrissey.
The Deputy Prime Minister said: ''The most important thing for me, as the leader of the Liberal Democrats, is to make sure that we are open, take it on the chin where criticism has been made, and make sure that those changes are then implemented."
Mr Clegg said the report found there was no cover-up within the party, but acknowledged the document made for ''difficult reading''. Lord Rennard, who stepped down as the party's chief executive in 2009 on health grounds, strongly denies the allegations against him.