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Nick Clegg 'did not know' about Lord Rennard allegations

Jeremy Browne told ITV News that neither he nor Nick Clegg knew about allegations of sexual impropriety against Lord Rennard. Photo: PA Wire

Home Office Minister and Liberal Democrat MP Jeremy Browne told me today that neither he nor the party leader, Nick Clegg knew about allegations of sexual impropriety against Lord Rennard.

Two inquiries have been set up since the allegations by former Liberal Democrat workers were first made on Channel 4 News last week.

[Since then, the Liberal Democrat Chief Executive Tim Gordon has admitted: "It appears that we did not fully live up to our political ideals, and I regret that."

But Mr Browne strongly rejected suggestions that Nick Clegg knew about the allegations.

Asked if he himself knew, he said: “No, I certainly didn’t know anything about it. I am not an officer of the party but I have known Lord Rennard for 20 years or so.”

He went on: “It’s the first I’ve heard of these accusations. Nick Clegg wasn’t aware of these accusations either but we’ve moved very quickly.

"He’s moved very quickly as party leader to look at both these specific allegations but also more generally the procedures the party has for complaints being made, our internal procedures, and I am sure we will come to conclusions which will be completely open and people will be able to understand those conclusions.

"But the party has moved very quickly to make sure we live up to our values.”

Lord Rennard has strongly denied the allegations.

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