C4's Cathy Newman squeezes further admission from Clegg

Feb 27, 2013

'Cathy from Dulwich' who broke sex harassment claims against peer confronts Clegg live on air

NICK CLEGG this morning admitted that the issue of Lord Rennard's alleged "inappropriate behaviour" had contributed to the peer stepping down as the Lib Dems' chief executive in 2009.

During his weekly Call Clegg show on LBC Radio alongside DJ Nick Ferrari, the deputy prime minister answered a call (see video below) from "Cathy from Dulwich" – otherwise known as Channel 4 News presenter Cathy Newman, who first broadcast the Rennard allegations last week.

Having owned up to her real identity, Newman told Clegg: "I'm what you might call a self-appointed detective", a reference to Clegg's earlier jibe at journalists who have sought evidence against the peer.

"I just want to clear up something," Newman went on. "At the weekend, you said that Lord Rennard quit on health grounds. Now you've just been saying, you appear to be accepting that his behaviour was part of the reason he went."

Clegg responded: "Of course the issues of his inappropriate behaviour were in the background [when he stepped down]. Of course they were."

As London mayor Boris Johnson found earlier this month when he ambushed Clegg live on air, one of the best times to pin down the deputy PM is during his weekly radio show – although Newman said she'd like to do a sit-down interview with him for Channel 4.

Clegg has previously claimed that Rennard stood down for "health and family" reasons. Clegg has said he knew about rumours concerning Rennard's alleged behaviour but was not aware of any "specific" claims against the peer until Channel 4 News broke the story last week.

Rennard continues to deny the accusations of sexual harassment, made by at least ten women. The Metropolitan Police is working with Lib Dem officials to investigate any possible criminal activity.

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