The Liberal Democrats face a “make or break” meeting this week over the Lord Rennard harassment allegations that have threatened to overwhelm the party.
There is frustration that a mediation process between the peer and the four party activists who accused him of abusing his position has been moving at a painfully slow pace. Lord Rennard’s supporters believe there needs to be substantial progress to avoid a breakdown of talks. The peer threatened the party with legal action after he was suspended in January.
A senior Lib Dem said: “If mediation is going to succeed, it would have to succeed soon. It is make or break early this week.”
The suspension followed an inquiry by Alistair Webster QC, who concluded there was insufficient evidence to prove the complaints beyond reasonable doubt, but added they were “broadly credible” and called on Lord Rennard to apologise. The latter refused, arguing this amounted to an admission of guilt over allegations he denies.