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Party members clash with Clegg

Nick Clegg was engaged in bad-tempered clashes with Liberal Democrat activists over so-called secret courts legislation and benefits changes tonight.

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Alexander: Conversations with Rennard 'were not easy'

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, has revealed more about his "not easy conversations" with the Lib Dems' former chief executive Lord Rennard over allegations of sexual impropriety.

In an article for Lib Dem Voice, Mr Alexander, who was then Nick Clegg's Chief of Staff in 2008, said that Jo Swinson told him about "deeply troubling" concerns expressed to her privately:

Having discussed the matter with Nick, I spoke directly to Lord Rennard.

I explained the nature of the concerns and warned him in strong terms that any such conduct would be wholly unacceptable and wrong.

Lord Rennard categorically denied the allegations, as he continues to do.

It is a fundamental liberal principle that a person is innocent until proven guilty, but I was clear that these were serious issues and that given what was being said he needed to avoid any situation that could possibly cause further concern.

These were not easy conversations, nor should they have been.

I reported this back to Jo and she spoke again to the women concerned, to tell them what had been done.

The feedback at the time was that we had done what was wanted.

I am unaware of any complaints that date from after those conversations.

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