A PENDLE councillor has hit back after confidential comments he made on the Lord Rennard sex scandal were leaked online.
Over the past week, Lord Tony Greaves has come under fire over two private posts he made on an internal Liberal Democrat blog.
Much of the criticism he has received from social media users and newspaper bloggers comes from his comment that “it is hardly an offence for one adult person to make fairly mild sexual advances to another.”
He has also been blasted for his opinion that “if the allegations as made are a matter for resignation, perhaps around a half of the male member of the Lords over the age of 50 would probably not be seen again.”
But Coun. Greaves has now spoken out, claiming that his quotes on the former Liberal Democrat chief executive were “taken out of context”.
On Tuesday’s Daily Mail front page Lord Greaves’s posts were described as “an astonishing attempt to defend Lord Rennard”.
And Telegraph blogger Tom Chivers wrote that “Lord Greaves, a Lib Dem peer, has decided to ride to the aid of his colleague Lord Rennard”.
Responding, Coun. Greaves told the Leader Times Newspapers: “The quotes are taken out of context.
“They were leaked from a private discussion from a right wing blogger who recently said ‘he hates all politicians’.
“I will tell you what I think. The allegations are dreadful. The Lib Dems have set up two inquiries.
“We must now respect that process and wait to see the results of the inquiries. Anyone with complaints to make has every opportunity to make them.
“Meanwhile people in our party should calm down and stop using the national media to air their complaints.
“The national media have their own agenda and they are not helpful towards our party, and are often quite malevolent.
“People who allow themselves to be used in this way do no favours either to themselves or their political ideals.”
Lord Rennard was last week accused of sexual impropriety, following a programme broadcast by Channel Four.
Throughout the documentary it was alleged that Lord Rennard, who retired in 2009, “inappropriately touched and propositioned female party workers”. He has strongly denied the allegations.
A Liberal Democrat party spokesman said that the case is being taken “very seriously”, and that independent and internal investigations are now unde way. The results will ascertain whether or not criminal activity has taken place.
The spokesman said: “We are now waiting for the results of the investigations. We have a really clear policy on harassment in the workplace.”
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Saturday 18 May 2013
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