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The questions are mounting for the Liberal Democrats

The questions for the Liberal Democrats are mounting.

And they centre on what exactly senior members of the party did know about the allegations surrounding their former chief executive Lord Rennard.

Lord Rennard speaking in 2006 Credit: Cathal McNaughton/PA

But in responding to the claims first made by Channel 4 News last week, they would do well to provide some consistency in their messaging.

We were first told the party leader Nick Clegg heard about these allegations for the first time last Thursday.

But last night, Mr Clegg announced, he had heard "non-specific concerns" about Chris Rennard in 2008 and asked his then Chief of Staff, Danny Alexander (now a Cabinet Minister) to confront him.

Lord Rennard "categorically denied" any inappropriate behaviour - and continues to do so today.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

The admission by Mr Clegg however only served to fan the flames of this story - after several days in which the party was delivering a different message.

Mr Clegg maintains there were no formal allegations made in 2008 and he was therefore unable to proceed.

But if he knew enough to warrant sending his chief of staff to talk to Lord Rennard - should he have made further enquiries about these rumours?

Also, some of the Lib Dem workers who have come forward say they took their concerns to other senior members of the party: specifically Paul Burstow (at the time the party's Chief Whip) and Jo Swinson (at the time the spokesperson on women and equality).

Neither of them have given a response to these claims. Neither have said why they did not follow them up or take a formal complaint.

It seems to me, on the basis of what we know so far, the bigger questions are for those lower down the chain of command.

Yes, we must be told exactly how much Nick Clegg knew.

But equally, you could ask, how much should a leader be expected to know if no formal complaint had been made or accepted?

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