Diary: Rennard's a fuss about nothing, says Lib Dem who came in from the cold

Jasper Gerard, who was once a rising star on the Sunday Times with excellent contacts among the Liberal Democrats, wrote an entire book about how Nick Clegg captured the party leadership, and thought he had scored a success when the Daily Mail paid a handsome price of the serialisation rights.

What he did not foresee was that Mail scribes would comb the book for everything bad they could find about Clegg or his party, omitting everything else. He was shocked. He feared that his relationship with the party would be ruptured. Bridges have since been mended. Gerard is now a prospective Lib Dem parliamentary candidate, and he went on the World at One yesterday to belittle the Lord Rennard affair as a big fuss about very little. "It was only touching a woman's knee, it's hardly Jimmy Savile," he complained.

That echoed similar remarks by the Lib Dem peer, Tony Greaves. "It is hardly an offence for one adult person to make fairly mild sexual advances to another," he said. If that is how they think, it's no wonder that the women involved felt they would never get the Lib Dem establishment to take their complaints seriously.

The 12 golden rules that didn't reach the leader

Olly Grender knows more probably than any other Lib Dem about handling a media storm, having worked for Paddy Ashdown when the party's fortunes were at their nadir, and done a stint in Downing Street. She distilled her wisdom into an article for the New Statesman headed "My 12 Golden Rules in a Crisis."

This invites the question of how many of the 'golden rules' Nick Clegg observed in handling the Rennard fire storm.

Instead of running through the lot, I will go straight to Rule 6, "the most important rule of all" according to Grender – "establish what the truth is, decide how it will be told." Did Clegg do that? He did not.

Did he "establish a clear decision making operation", as per Rule 1? No.

Did he, as per Rule 8, do "the opposite of what your instincts tell you, so be more open and accessible" – by disappearing to Amsterdam yesterday? I think not.

Did he follow Rule 3 – "get good independent advice both PR and legal"? No.

Or Rule 12 – "Say sorry. Say it quickly and keep saying it"? No.

Is there one rule he can definitely be said to have followed? Sorry, no.

Musical chairs at City Hall

Strange shenanigans at the London Assembly yesterday. Boris Johnson was there, expecting to face two hours of questions about his budget, when opposition members spotted an empty chair where the deputy mayor, Victoria Borwick, ought to be.

Her absence meant they had the majority needed to throw the budget out, so they sent the Mayor away, but before they could vote, Ms Borwick hurried in, foiling their plans.

Boris has now de-nounced Assembly members as "great supine protoplasmic invertebrate jellies".

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Have you been doing a brilliant job in an admi...

Surrey County Council: Senior Project Officer (Fixed Term to Feb 2019)

£26,498 - £31,556: Surrey County Council: We are looking for an outgoing, conf...

Recruitment Genius: Interim Head of HR

£50000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you an innovative, senior H...

Recruitment Genius: Human Resources and Payroll Administrator

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client, a very well respect...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower