Coffee House

Nick Clegg begins to flex muscles over Rennard

17 January 2014

Nick Clegg has in the past few minutes made clear that unless Lord Rennard apologises for his behaviour towards women in the party, he will not regain the Liberal Democrat whip. A party spokesman said:

‘Nick Clegg is of the view that as long as Lord Rennard refuses the very reasonable request from Alistair Webster QC to apologise that it is inappropriate for him to rejoin the Liberal Democrat group in the House of Lords. Nick has communicated this to the Chief Whip and Leader of the House of Lords group.

‘In addition, a growing number of party members have come forward to make representations to the party that Lord Rennard’s refusal to apologise in itself brings the party into disrepute.

‘The Lords Chief Whip and Leader of the House of Lords group will be discussing the matter with party HQ and will review the reinstatement of the whip on this basis.’

This is an interesting about-turn of events, coming only shortly after a letter of more than 100 party activists demanding that the peer apologise or remain an outcast. In my Telegraph column this morning, I explained that Clegg felt bound by his party’s rules to not take any further action against Rennard when in fact the rules are not the laws of physics but simply rules set out by many votes in many conference halls over many years. Now, it seems, the Liberal Democrat leader is trying to be more of the sort of leader that other parties are used to: one who takes executive decisions, rather than being bound by very worthy but also very restrictive democracy.

More Spectator for less. Subscribe and receive 12 issues delivered for just £12, with full web and app access. Join us now.

  • saffrin

    Oh what a laugh, Clegg publicly proves himself a fool, yet again.
    A report in the Telegraph states Clegg hasn’t even spoken to Lord Renard over this alleged sexual harassment, let alone demanded he apologize, yet on local radio and only on local radio does he make an issue out of it.
    Under LibDem rules, Clegg could find himself on the wrong end of a High Court judgment over this but them let’s face it, when was the last time anyone in the Houses of Parliament complied with their own rules or understood the meaning of democracy?

  • swatnan

    An apology would be an admission of guilt. But then Rennard is guilty anyway.
    Just kick him out of the Party; there are sufficient grounds: for bringing the Party into disrepute, and don’t let him back in.

  • mikewaller

    There were threats this lunchtime from Lord R’s legal representatives that unless the LDs backed down, the matter will be taken to court. Best response from NC would be to quote dear old George W as in: “Bring it on”!

  • 2trueblue

    Too late mate.

  • voidist

    i didnt know that Clegg had any muscles to Flex….

  • James Strong

    Rennard should tell Clegg to F*** Off.

  • binnsmeister

    Even if Rennard does apologise, it will mean nothing. A forced apology is a worthless apology.

    • Eddie

      And maybe the secks-obsessed victimhood-craving hysterical shrieking femi-mob should apologise for hounding Lord McAlpine into his grave first, eh?

      • Fergus Pickering

        I didn’t know it was predominantly women. I thought it was predominantly men.

        • Eddie

          There is an organised feminist campaign to wreak revenge on the male species – in a Miss Havisham-esque way.
          The police are so keen to prove they are modern and right-on and fluffy cuddly (yeah right!) of course obey the commands of an agenda set by these minority interest groups (which most women do not support – only feminasties).
          So we have men arrested for, well, for what? Making passes at females? Touching a knee? Patting a bottom? It does take two to tango too. (and I notice drunken girls who grope young men every weekend at pubs and clubs do not get arrested for any offence. Why? Pure gender bias).
          We BADLY need some common sense here – the plods are unlikely to show it because arresting those innocent men boosts their arrest stats (and is easier than catching real criminals). The police are utterly absurd these days – I respect Romanian beggars more.
          It is laughable that such cases ever make the news or get to court.
          It is infantilising women too and is this gender discrimination (albeit self-inflicted). Do not think all women support these witch hunts – the ones I know think it’s all absurd and we need common sense here.

          • Fergus Pickering

            I think it comes down to the fact that women very rarely rape men. Give me some cases, Eddie. Whereas men often rape women; often in the public street. Of course there is gender bias. So there ought to be. As for fat Rnnnard, he’s finished as a serious politician, if he ever was one. That is probably enough. In general I respect what you say, but you do go rather over the top on this subject. In my opinion, that is. The fact that Rennard is so fat and unattractive ought not to have anything to do with it I suppose. But alas, chivalry comes in…. .

            • Eddie

              How are you defining it though?
              Women certainly do grope men, touch them – you are probably too old and innocent to have been in bars on a Friday night surrounded you gaggles of girls leering and jeering at young men. But I have (for my sins) and I know several male bar staff who have had to leave bar jobs because of it. If a man did that to a woman, he would be arrested these days in our absurd little island run by bonkers feminist mores; yet, we obviously do not have gender equality because no woman is ever arrested for assaulting and abusing men.
              The charge was never raype anyway – it was ‘unwanted attention’. Why should the man apologise? In my view, it is that pathetic pity party women who should apologise for being such weak and pathetic specimens of odious self-pity and for conducting witch hunts out of a sense of nasty spiteful hell-hath-no-fury evil revenge. They should grow up and grow a backbone.
              Most of these cases are not in any common sense way crimes at all.
              Of course, all victims’ – many of whom just love the attention and playing the victim – get sympathy and financial compensation. The only question is, which do they crave more? Or is their real motivation revenge and trying to destroy innocent men’s lives?

              • Andy

                Grains of truth. I do believe that if a Rape Case is thrown out the woman should lose her anonymity.

                • Eddie

                  Many would wonder why the granting of anonymity is not equal either; there is indirect secksism here, as most defending themselves are men, and most accusers are women.
                  Incredibly, even if a woman has made false claims of raype and a court case has been thrown out, she is free to accuse any other man of the same and the jury is not even informed that she has tried it on before!
                  And what’s the worst that can happen anyway? To the very worst liars, 6 months suspended sentence for wasting police time. Meanwhile, many men can and do have their lives utterly ruined.
                  I also feel the definition of raype and secksual assualt have become absurd in our pc pity party abuse-obsessed world. An over-enthusiastic male using a finger can get done for raype, incredibly (no member need penetrate anything) and a pat on the knee can count as secksual assault these days, Utterly absurd and infantilising women as victims JUST like the Victorians did! (excuse the spelling – using certain words gets a post blocked).

                • Andy

                  Again there is a grain of truth. A woman should not be allowed to make false allegations and get away with it.

                • Eddie

                  What it often boils down to is one person’s word against another, usually involving alcohol. The law as it stands is absurd – we might as well make one that requires contracts to be signed before anyone dares think of touching anyone else, let alone doing the dirty!

                  BTW the feminist propaganda is just that. They claim only 6% of raypes result in the raypist being convicted. Thus they not only assume that all men accused are guilty, but they also use the wrong statistic. A full 25% of raypes that go to court lead to a conviction, roughly the same as the statistic for burglary or other crimes. There are not huge numbers of raypists walking free at all.

                  Women would do well to remember that their own sons could, after a drunken night with the local bike, get accused of raype. The law states that if a woman is drunk, she cannot legally consent, so all males who have it off with drunken women are thus raypists. Bonkers!

                  That is not equality. That is infantilising women and seeing them as permanent victims. That is demonising normal male behaviour and human relations, and is ruing so many lives. I dare say money, attention, self-pity and revenge are the key motivators for such accusations, as well as mental illness.

  • Eddie

    This is an utter nonsense – a blatant appeal to the votes of gormless women who do are engaged in some bloodthirsty witch hunt against any man who may once have made a pass at a woman.
    I do so hope they are not hypocrites, and will thus campaign for the immediate arrest – on assault and attempted raype charges – of any female who has ever touched a man’s bottom (or leg, or arm, or knee).
    No, innocent men should not apologise. This of course will make them vulnerable to civil claims for damages from the compo-queens who seem to be running the police these days as the plods busy themselves with their femi-agenda, thereby – very ironically – infantilising women (like the feminasties) in the most seck-sist way possible. Utter tosh!

    • Airey Belvoir

      Get it off your chest man, don’t botttle it up!

    • Tom M

      Reading you post reminds me of PC Copperfield, if anyone remembers his book on what the police actually do in a day.
      The story went along the lines that he was called to a high rise flat where the lady “A” complained her ex best friend and next door neighbour, lady “B” had sent nasty texts because apparently lady “A” had bonked her boyfriend.
      PC copperfield then started the procedures to acquire the phone records after magistrates authority etc etc. A week or two later armed with all the paperwork that democracy can provide he arrives at lady “A”s flat. She is on the way out. “Oh I’m far too busy to talk to you now. You’ll have to come back later”.
      A day or two later he receives a complaint this time from Lady “B” alleging that lady “A” has sent her nasty texts because apparently the boyfriend has returned from whence he came. He then opens another case with magistrates approval for phone records etc etc etc
      PC Copperfield makes the amusing point that both ladies are plaintiff and defendant at the same time.
      It would be amusing if someone wasn’t paying for it. We call it inclusivity apparently.

      • Eddie

        Sad, but true. If a young man sends 2 texts, emails, Twitter messages to his two-timing slug of an ex-girlfriend, he can get arrested for harassment if she complains (maybe she has deliberately not replied so as to entrap him). He will then probably get a caution, which will be with him for the rest of his life.
        The ex-girlfriend (who could easily have blocked the sender of texts, emails or Tweets) has wreaked her revenge – and is no victim of harassment; actually, the victim here is the young man – and 6000 get arrested this way per year. The police know it is easy meat. Boost the stats. But it is SO wrong.

      • Eddie

        Tom M – did those cases actually go to court?
        I know of the sons of several people who have been arrested for so-called ‘harassment’ (which in these strange days is defined as sending 2 emails). It comes as a shock to many who suddenly find a plod van turning up on their doorstep, and aggressive officers dragging their son away with his laptop and locking him in a police cell.
        Of course, it’s easy meat for the plods – who don’t seem to bother all the muggers and thieves and drug dealers and criminals out there (see, arresting them would be difficult and real police work).
        This is yet another reason why the middle class don’t trust the police any more.

        • Tom M

          Can’t help with that. PC Copperfield’s book didn’t give too many details I’m afraid.

      • Fergus Pickering

        It is amusing whoever is paying for it.

    • Fergus Pickering

      Come along. The fat toad couldn’t see a skirt without wanting to stick his sweaty mitts under it.

  • Ourhy4104

    мʏ ʀօօмαтɛ’ѕ ѕιѕтɛʀ мαĸɛѕ $85/нʀ օɴ тнɛ ιɴтɛʀɴɛт. ѕнɛ нαѕ вɛɛɴ աιтнօυт աօʀĸ ғօʀ ѕɛʋɛɴ мօɴтнѕ вυт ʟαѕт мօɴтн нɛʀ քαʏ ƈнɛƈĸ աαѕ $1з854 ʝυѕт աօʀĸιɴɢ օɴ тнɛ ιɴтɛʀɴɛт ғօʀ α ғɛա нօυʀѕ. ɴαʋιɢαтɛ тօ тнιѕ աɛв-ѕιтɛ fox800&#46­com

  • HookesLaw

    Well Clegg is leader or he is not leader and he can surely appoint or not appoint who he likes and there’s an end to it. What Reynard thinks about anything counts for a pile of diddly squat. If the leadership do not want him then his opinion, justified or not, counts for nothing.
    How nice though to see the LDs agonising over the niiceties of due process and innocent until proven guilty.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      …and your boy Call Me Dave isn’t burdened with such due process, as we know. He hysterically slandered real conservatives as bigoted racists, but meanwhile, the pink one is absolutely silent about his LD mates’ abusive misogyny.

      Typical LibLabCon socialist clones. They always stick together.

    • Andy

      If they don’t follow their own rules then Lord Rennard would be quite entitled to sue the bastards. Good luck to him. With any luck he might bankrupt them.

  • David Prentice

    Ooooh, Cleggers, what an action man! Miriam better watch out tonight!

    • monty61

      Indeed. Its not leadership if 100 angry people force you into it. The time for leadership was earlier in the week.

    • telemachus

      Action man indeed

      He is ferreting out Cameronian designs on the Home Counties. Gravy Boats beware

      ‘David Cameron must be “honest and upfront” about the Government’s plans to build two new garden cities in Kent and Buckinghamshire, Nick Clegg has said.

      The Deputy Prime Minister says that there is “no point hiding” the facts as he insists that a report into the viability of building large new settlements to alleviate Britain’s housing crisis will be published by the Coalition.

      His comments, made in an article for The Telegraph, will be seen as a direct challenge to David Cameron to publish a “prospectus” for future developments, which was drawn up after the Prime Minister gave a speech supporting the idea nearly two years ago.

      This newspaper understands, from sources outside the Deputy Prime Minister’s office, that a draft proposal suggests building two new settlements in Yalding, Kent, and Gerrards Cross, in Buckinghamshire.’

  • telemachus

    This just posted on the BBC website
    Lord Carlile spoke to BBC Newsnight off-air about the suggestion that Lord
    Rennard should apologise in order to regain the party whip.

    He said: “The report found there was no case to answer. Lord Rennard has
    always denied these allegations. It is an absurdity to require him to apologise
    for something he denies.
    We do not need to say more

  • telemachus

    Withhold the whip
    Withhold the whip
    Bold actions
    Morals have nothing to do with all this

    • David Booth.

      When a weak man is forced into doing something it just confirms the fact he is a weak man.

Can't find your Web ID? Click here