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Tim Farron writes: We have changed our rules and codes of conduct at every level

August 20, 2014 10:05 AM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

Following the conclusion of the disciplinary process against Lord Rennard, Liberal Democrat Party President Tim Farron has written the article below.

Since the allegations against Lord Rennard were first aired on Channel Four News, I've worked hard with members, activists, HQ staff and our parliamentary parties to fundamentally change the way our party treats these matters.

We asked Helena Morrissey to look at our party's culture and practices and her report helped us to recognise our failings and set about correcting them.

We have changed our rules and codes of conduct at every level, from grassroots members to parliamentarians so that everyone involved in the party is aware of their rights and responsibilities. We have changed how complaints are reported and addressed, and we have appointed a Pastoral Care Officer to help and advise those making a complaint.

Helena Morrissey will be back later this year to look at how we are putting her recommendations into practice, so that we continue to hold ourselves to a high standard.

As well as this, we asked a senior barrister, Diya Sen Gupta from Blackstone Chambers, to review our disciplinary procedures and recommend any changes required. She has now made recommendations to us and I am determined that we will implement these as quickly as possible.

No one should ever have to feel that their concerns are being dismissed or ignored and I am clear that the Liberal Democrats should become the 'gold standard' for how voluntary organisations treat their members and staff. Today's news hasn't changed that one bit.

Finally, if any of you ever need advice or support, please don't hesitate to get in touch with Jeanne Tarrant, our Pastoral Care Officer. Her email address is: jeanne.tarrant@libdems.org.uk