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Lord Rennard says sorry after women's complaints

By James Tapsfield

Former Liberal Democrat chief executive Lord Rennard has apologised to four party activists who accused him of harassing them.

The peer conceded he “may well have encroached on personal space” of the women inadvertently, and said he now wanted to achieve “closure” by expressing regret.

The statement issued by his lawyer, which follows a long-running dispute with the party leadership, said Lord Rennard wished to express his apologies to Susan Gaszczak, Alison Goldsworthy, Bridget Harris and Alison Smith.

Nick Clegg moved to suspend the peer in January after Alistair Webster QC’s report into a string of complaints against the peer concluded there was broadly credible evidence he had violated personal space.

However, Mr Webster found the allegations could not be proved beyond reasonable doubt, and merely recommended Lord Rennard should say sorry.

Lord Rennard said he now accepted the report “in its entirety”.

“He would therefore like to apologise sincerely for any such intrusion and assure them that this would have been inadvertent,” the statement said.

“He hereby expresses his regret for any harm or embarrassment caused to them or anything which made them feel uncomfortable.”

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