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Police Won’t Charge Liberal Democrat Ex-Chairman Over Sex Claims

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Sept. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Chris Rennard, former chairman of the U.K.’s Liberal Democrat Party, will not be charged over allegations of sexual touching, police said today.

The party, which is the junior partner in Prime Minister David Cameron’s coalition government, said it will restart its internal disciplinary inquiry into allegations that Rennard sexually harassed women working for the party. Rennard denies the allegations.

“The decision by the police not to prosecute Lord Rennard with a criminal offense means that the party’s disciplinary process, led by Alistair Webster QC, can now resume,” the Liberal Democrats said in an e-mailed statement. “We consider the allegations made against Lord Rennard, which he strenuously denies, to be extremely serious and we can now continue with our internal inquiry into these allegations.”

London’s Metropolitan police said there wasn’t enough evidence for it to press charges against Rennard, who sits as a lawmaker in the upper House of Lords. Rennard voluntarily went to a police station to be interviewed on June 16, police said.

“Various inquiries were conducted -- including meeting with officials from the Liberal Democrat Party -- and a number of individuals were spoken to as part of the investigation,” the police said in a statement. “Those inquiries have now concluded that there is insufficient evidence to support a prosecution.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Thomas Penny in London at tpenny@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net

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