Clegg 'knew about Lord Rennard's apology weeks ago'

Nick Clegg saw Lord Rennard's apology to four women who accused him of harassment weeks ago, a friend of the peer claimed. Lord Carlile said it was not released as the ex-Lib Dem chief executive did not want to damage the party before the elections.

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Lord Rennard apologises to Lib Dem activists

Lord Rennard's written apology follows a long-running dispute with the Lib Dem party leadership. Credit: Cathal McNaughton/PA Wire

Former Liberal Democrat chief executive Lord Rennard has issued a written apology to four party activists who accused him of harassing them.

The peer said "he may well have encroached upon personal space" and added he would like to "apologise sincerely for any such intrusion," which he said "would have been inadvertent".

Lord Rennard wrote that he was issuing the apology after receiving the report by Alistair Webster QC, who conducted an independent investigation into the allegations and the party's handling of them.

Mr Webster found no evidence to act against Lord Rennard but recommended he consider apologising.

A statement issued by his lawyer said: "Lord Rennard wishes to achieve closure of the contentious issues that have been in the public domain for the last 14 months by expressing his apologies to Susan Gaszczak, Alison Goldsworthy, Bridget Harris and Alison Smith."

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