Gidley 'told Clegg about Rennard'

Sandra Gidley.

Lord Rennard.

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

A FORMER Romsey MP last night joined the political storm surrounding sex pest allegations against the Lib Dem’s former chief executive.

Sandra Gidley, who was MP for Romsey for a decade before losing her seat in 2010, said she told Nick Clegg about “general concerns” about the party’s then chief executive Lord Rennard shortly after he became leader.

A number of women have accused the peer of sexually inappropriate behaviour.

Lord Rennard denies the allegations.

Ms Gidley’s comments come on the eve of the Eastleigh by-election where the party had hoped to win after Lib Dem MP Chris Huhne resigned after admitting perverting the course of justice.

Mr Clegg has said he heard only “indirect and non-specific concerns”

about the Lib Dem peer until last week, when a Channel 4 News investigation alleged that he had behaved improperly towards women in the party on a number of occasions.

But when asked by The Daily Telegraph whether she told Mr Clegg “face-to-face” about the allegations, she replied: “Yes, that is true, but at this point I don’t want to go any further.

I am hoping his memory might be jogged. Shall we leave it at that?”

Related links

Ms Gidley later said that she did not have precise details of alleged incidents when she approached the Lib Dem leader.

In a statement issued by the party, she said: “I spoke to Nick Clegg about general concerns. I didn’t knowof any specific incidents and neither did he.”

A spokesman for Mr Clegg said: “Sandra Gidley once raised general concerns with Nick Clegg about Lord Rennard’s conduct. She did not know of or raise specific allegations.

“As Nick Clegg has said, he was aware of general concerns which were acted upon by this then chief of staff, Danny Alexander.”

Lord Rennard, who stepped down as chief executive on health grounds in 2009, yesterday said he was ready to “co-operate with any properly-constituted inquiry” into allegations of inappropriate behaviour.

The peer issued a strenuous fresh denial of any wrong-doing as senior Liberal Democrats met Metropolitan Police officers to discuss the case.

Scotland Yard said the meeting was held to help ascertain whether any criminal activity had taken place, adding: “That work continues.”

A party spokesman said that two internal inquiries into the allegations will continue, adding: “It is important that people with information have the confidence to come forward and that their information is dealt with sensitively and appropriately.”

One woman, who claims the peer followed her to the toilet at a candidates’ event in Peterborough and propositioned her when she came out, said she knew of nine women claiming to have had similar experiences.

The former county councillor, who gave her name only as Susan, told BBC Radio 4’s World at One programme she was “extremely distressed”

after the peer allegedly touched her leg and invited her back to his hotel room.

Lord Rennard held an “almighty amount of power” in the party and was a “man who could control your future”, she said.

Comments (13)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:11pm Wed 27 Feb 13

Jack Herer says...

Am I right in thinking that this article has no new information here, it's effectively just a rehash of a story from that well known biased Tory rag, The Daily Telegraph?

In which case, wow. The dark forces of spin certainly have long and strong tentacles.

Don't you think the good people of Eastleigh deserve better than the politics of smear and spin though?
Am I right in thinking that this article has no new information here, it's effectively just a rehash of a story from that well known biased Tory rag, The Daily Telegraph? In which case, wow. The dark forces of spin certainly have long and strong tentacles. Don't you think the good people of Eastleigh deserve better than the politics of smear and spin though? Jack Herer
  • Score: 0

12:21pm Wed 27 Feb 13

behonest says...

Exactly. Allegations relating to years ago 'suddenly' appear all over the Tory press just a few days before our by-election.

We can all smell a Tory rat. No depths to which they will not stoop.
Exactly. Allegations relating to years ago 'suddenly' appear all over the Tory press just a few days before our by-election. We can all smell a Tory rat. No depths to which they will not stoop. behonest
  • Score: 0

1:06pm Wed 27 Feb 13

Paramjit Bahia says...

It is easy to imagine Lib-Dem supporters on this site start making noises like rattle snakes against the press, especially Telegraph for exposing the dark and hypocritical side of their party, which is well known for having no principles, full of self serving opportunists, who promised all kinds of goodies in their manifesto during last election but ditched those for their egos, ministerial pay and perks including limos.

Was it not the same Telegraph that did a good service for the nation by exposing the false claims by many super greedy MPs from all main parties, including this Sandra Gidley girl of LibDems who'd pocked thousands of pounds through something to do with certain flat in London?

Although these days there is hardly any difference between all main parties, out of the front runners in Eastleigh the Lib-Dem are by far the worse, and Tories are contaminated for staying in bed with them, just like the UKIP has been exposed for having close links with far right La Pen's fascistic organisation in France.

Voters should think carefully before casting their votes
It is easy to imagine Lib-Dem supporters on this site start making noises like rattle snakes against the press, especially Telegraph for exposing the dark and hypocritical side of their party, which is well known for having no principles, full of self serving opportunists, who promised all kinds of goodies in their manifesto during last election but ditched those for their egos, ministerial pay and perks including limos. Was it not the same Telegraph that did a good service for the nation by exposing the false claims by many super greedy MPs from all main parties, including this Sandra Gidley girl of LibDems who'd pocked thousands of pounds through something to do with certain flat in London? Although these days there is hardly any difference between all main parties, out of the front runners in Eastleigh the Lib-Dem are by far the worse, and Tories are contaminated for staying in bed with them, just like the UKIP has been exposed for having close links with far right La Pen's fascistic organisation in France. Voters should think carefully before casting their votes Paramjit Bahia
  • Score: 0

1:06pm Wed 27 Feb 13

userds5050 says...

behonest wrote:
Exactly. Allegations relating to years ago 'suddenly' appear all over the Tory press just a few days before our by-election.

We can all smell a Tory rat. No depths to which they will not stoop.
Er, because Rennard was brought back into the fold by the Lib Dems. After he stood down on heath grounds 'years ago' as you put it, he was back workings for the Lib dems last year. He was actively coaching prospective MPs, addressing party youth events as recently as last October. This scandal is down to Liberal desperation rather than Tory dark arts.
[quote][p][bold]behonest[/bold] wrote: Exactly. Allegations relating to years ago 'suddenly' appear all over the Tory press just a few days before our by-election. We can all smell a Tory rat. No depths to which they will not stoop.[/p][/quote]Er, because Rennard was brought back into the fold by the Lib Dems. After he stood down on heath grounds 'years ago' as you put it, he was back workings for the Lib dems last year. He was actively coaching prospective MPs, addressing party youth events as recently as last October. This scandal is down to Liberal desperation rather than Tory dark arts. userds5050
  • Score: 0

1:08pm Wed 27 Feb 13

rickey says...

Ms Gidley later said that she did not have precise details of alleged incidents when she approached the Lib Dem leader.

In a statement issued by the party, she said: “I spoke to Nick Clegg about general concerns. I didn’t know of any specific incidents and neither did he.”

So what were her general concerns. Sounds like a person jumping on a band wagon to me.
Ms Gidley later said that she did not have precise details of alleged incidents when she approached the Lib Dem leader. In a statement issued by the party, she said: “I spoke to Nick Clegg about general concerns. I didn’t know of any specific incidents and neither did he.” So what were her general concerns. Sounds like a person jumping on a band wagon to me. rickey
  • Score: 0

1:47pm Wed 27 Feb 13

behonest says...

userds5050 wrote:
behonest wrote:
Exactly. Allegations relating to years ago 'suddenly' appear all over the Tory press just a few days before our by-election.

We can all smell a Tory rat. No depths to which they will not stoop.
Er, because Rennard was brought back into the fold by the Lib Dems. After he stood down on heath grounds 'years ago' as you put it, he was back workings for the Lib dems last year. He was actively coaching prospective MPs, addressing party youth events as recently as last October. This scandal is down to Liberal desperation rather than Tory dark arts.
Err, years ago, then last year, then last October, but nothing in the media. Then it is plastered all over the media just a few days before the by-election.

I think your phrase 'Tory dark arts' sums it up.
[quote][p][bold]userds5050[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]behonest[/bold] wrote: Exactly. Allegations relating to years ago 'suddenly' appear all over the Tory press just a few days before our by-election. We can all smell a Tory rat. No depths to which they will not stoop.[/p][/quote]Er, because Rennard was brought back into the fold by the Lib Dems. After he stood down on heath grounds 'years ago' as you put it, he was back workings for the Lib dems last year. He was actively coaching prospective MPs, addressing party youth events as recently as last October. This scandal is down to Liberal desperation rather than Tory dark arts.[/p][/quote]Err, years ago, then last year, then last October, but nothing in the media. Then it is plastered all over the media just a few days before the by-election. I think your phrase 'Tory dark arts' sums it up. behonest
  • Score: 0

2:25pm Wed 27 Feb 13

userds5050 says...

For sure, but why bring him back in the first place... because Rennard is the best election strategist they've got. They will probably hang onto Eastleigh by their fingertips but the damage nationally has already been done.
I see Mrs Hutchings missed another hustings last night. I wonder what the excuse will be this time?
For sure, but why bring him back in the first place... because Rennard is the best election strategist they've got. They will probably hang onto Eastleigh by their fingertips but the damage nationally has already been done. I see Mrs Hutchings missed another hustings last night. I wonder what the excuse will be this time? userds5050
  • Score: 0

2:42pm Wed 27 Feb 13

behonest says...

I hope you're right about the Lib Dems hanging on. Mainly because I'd hate to see the Tories win it and to then spin it as a vote of approval from Eastleigh.
I hope you're right about the Lib Dems hanging on. Mainly because I'd hate to see the Tories win it and to then spin it as a vote of approval from Eastleigh. behonest
  • Score: 0

6:33pm Wed 27 Feb 13

ameliaS says...

userds5050 wrote:
For sure, but why bring him back in the first place... because Rennard is the best election strategist they've got. They will probably hang onto Eastleigh by their fingertips but the damage nationally has already been done. I see Mrs Hutchings missed another hustings last night. I wonder what the excuse will be this time?
On the news at lunchtime, she was busy holding a surgery for 40 or so residents in Hamble. Can't be in two places at once! Are you suggesting she should have left them high and dry? She's already done a few hustings radio and telly.
[quote][p][bold]userds5050[/bold] wrote: For sure, but why bring him back in the first place... because Rennard is the best election strategist they've got. They will probably hang onto Eastleigh by their fingertips but the damage nationally has already been done. I see Mrs Hutchings missed another hustings last night. I wonder what the excuse will be this time?[/p][/quote]On the news at lunchtime, she was busy holding a surgery for 40 or so residents in Hamble. Can't be in two places at once! Are you suggesting she should have left them high and dry? She's already done a few hustings radio and telly. ameliaS
  • Score: 0

9:11pm Wed 27 Feb 13

J.P.M says...

YES - he is a fat over-rated idiot, who thinks that position = sexual attraction

YES - who does she think believes her attention seeking drivel
YES - he is a fat over-rated idiot, who thinks that position = sexual attraction YES - who does she think believes her attention seeking drivel J.P.M
  • Score: 0

9:21pm Wed 27 Feb 13

Shoong says...

I wasn't good enough so I'm going to blame someone else.
I wasn't good enough so I'm going to blame someone else. Shoong
  • Score: 0

9:55pm Wed 27 Feb 13

userds5050 says...

ameliaS wrote:
userds5050 wrote:
For sure, but why bring him back in the first place... because Rennard is the best election strategist they've got. They will probably hang onto Eastleigh by their fingertips but the damage nationally has already been done. I see Mrs Hutchings missed another hustings last night. I wonder what the excuse will be this time?
On the news at lunchtime, she was busy holding a surgery for 40 or so residents in Hamble. Can't be in two places at once! Are you suggesting she should have left them high and dry? She's already done a few hustings radio and telly.
The husting was last night at Fleming park. All the other candidates were there. If she can't face diffucult questions she shouldn't be standing as an MP.
[quote][p][bold]ameliaS[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]userds5050[/bold] wrote: For sure, but why bring him back in the first place... because Rennard is the best election strategist they've got. They will probably hang onto Eastleigh by their fingertips but the damage nationally has already been done. I see Mrs Hutchings missed another hustings last night. I wonder what the excuse will be this time?[/p][/quote]On the news at lunchtime, she was busy holding a surgery for 40 or so residents in Hamble. Can't be in two places at once! Are you suggesting she should have left them high and dry? She's already done a few hustings radio and telly.[/p][/quote]The husting was last night at Fleming park. All the other candidates were there. If she can't face diffucult questions she shouldn't be standing as an MP. userds5050
  • Score: 0

10:07pm Wed 27 Feb 13

elvisimo says...

If you rearranged nick clegg s name, changed a few letters and used a bit of imagination you get Cnut . Just pointing that out
If you rearranged nick clegg s name, changed a few letters and used a bit of imagination you get Cnut . Just pointing that out elvisimo
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree