Swinson 'tried to raise the alarm' on Rennard claims

One of the women who has accused former Liberal Democrat chief executive Lord Rennard of sexual impropriety has defended the equalities minister Jo Swinson, saying she "tried to raise the alarm" but was "blocked further up the pay scale."

Swinson was one of the senior Liberal Democrats who female staff members and activists went to with their concerns over the peer.

Alison Smith told ITV News that she thought Ms Swinson would probably be "vindicated" by the independently chaired investigation into the allegations.

Lord Rennard denies the claims against him.

A Liberal Democrat spokesman said last night: "The party will fully engage with the police on this issue and continue to encourage anyone with allegations of a criminal nature to contact the police."