Clegg Says Liberal Democrats Handled Sex-Harassment Claims Badly

U.K. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will tell fellow Liberal Democrats that his office didn’t do enough when women contacted officials saying they’d been sexually harassed by the party’s chief executive officer.

“The women involved feel let down,” Clegg will say at a rally tonight in Brighton, southern England, according to his office. “When concerns were brought to the attention of members of my team we acted to address them. But this should not have just been the responsibility of a few individuals acting with the best of intentions.”

Chris Rennard stepped down as the party’s CEO in 2009 on health grounds and has denied wrongdoing. Following recent U.K. media reports that women had complained to Clegg’s office, the Liberal Democrat leader has said there were other reasons Rennard left as well. He has set up two probes, one into the Rennard allegations, and one into how they were handled, to be led by Newton Investment Management Ltd. CEO Helena Morrissey.

Clegg, opening a weekend convention for his party, will devote his speech, on International Women’s Day, to how the party is treating both its women members and how it can appeal to female voters.

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