1. ITV Report

We let 'sex victims' down says Nick Clegg

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg addresses the opening rally of the Liberal Democrat's Spring Conference at the Hilton Brighton Metropole. Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Nick Clegg admitted tonight that his party had let people down, by not properly investigating allegations of sexual harassment. The Liberal Democrats, he said, should take a 'long hard look in the mirror'. But he denied the party was in crisis, and tried to draw a line under recent controversies. From its spring conference in Brighton, ITV News political correspondent Libby Wiener reports:

As the conference opened, the equalities minister Jo Swinson revealed details of how she handled claims of sexual impropriety involving the Lib Dems' former chief executive Lord Rennard.

She told the party's spring conference that "a number of women" confided in her about alleged incidents several years ago.

Their "shared objective" with her had been to make sure the alleged behaviour stopped in future, Mrs Swinson said.

Of course, I did not name names when I spoke to people in the leader's office about these claims. I have not heard any account of inappropriate behaviour subsequent to the action that I and Danny took.

– Lib Dem equalities minister Jo Swinson

Danny Alexander, then Mr Clegg's chief of staff, met Lord Rennard, who denied the allegations and continues to deny them. Mrs Swinson said she had told the women what action had been taken and encouraged them to come forward again if there were issues in future.

Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats had to issue a denial yesterday, saying that none of the party figures named in the Vicky Pryce emails were told about the speeding points before the story appeared in the press.

More on this story