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Nick Clegg conceded today that his party made "very serious mistakes" in failing to deal properly with complaints of sexual harassment against its then chief executive Lord Rennard.
The Sheffield Hallam MP and Deputy Prime Minister continued to insist that he was personally unaware of any specific allegations by women in the party until they were broadcast by Channel 4 last week.
But he suggested that the issue was "in the background" when the peer - who strenuously denies the alleged inappropriate behaviour - retired from his senior role on grounds of ill-health.
"There were some very serious mistakes and the women were not listened to and were let down," Mr Clegg said as he was grilled on the controversy during his weekly phone-in on LBC 97.3 radio.
There is mounting pressure on liberal democrat leader Nick Clegg today after his party plunged further into crisis following allegations of sexual harassment.
In what's being called the biggest test of his career, he's being accused of covering up claims that Lord Rennard inappropriately touched women.