Thursday, 12 November 2015
My email to Tim and Sal re: Lord Rennard and the Federal Executive
As a follow up to my last post, here is my email on the subject to Tim Farron (Leader of the Liberal Democrats) and Baroness Sal Brinton (Party President):
Dear Tim and Sal,
I'm deeply concerned about the reputational damage to the party caused by the election of Lord Rennard to represent our Lords' group on Federal Executive.
Whatever one's views of the allegations against him, the resultant internal processes, the lack of police action or the Morrissey report and subsequent statements by Helena Morrissey, his name has become a byword for sleaze and harassment within the party - and amongst many in the public: in particular many who might otherwise vote for us.
By electing him to the FE, the Lords have cemented his circle of influence both there and more widely within the party, and sent a signal to many members and potential members that they (and by extension the Party generally) still don't get the impact of his behaviour.
I'm sure you have both had much correspondence on this but I would like to add my name to calls for public statements distancing yourselves from this decision and reinforcing a commitment to rebuilding our party with a culture inclusive of all, particularly those alienated by this turn of events. Whilst we need to respect the processes of the party, I believe that your mandates from the membership give you both the platform from which you can make these points more forcibly than any other senior party figures: and that doing so will be essential to repairing the reputation of the party.