PM refuses to support Clegg over Rennard

By staff

David Cameron refused to support Nick Clegg over the Rennard scandal last night, as a second accusation of sexual molestation by a Liberal Democrat emerged.

The prime minister is in the difficult position of not wanting to harm relations with his coalition partner while also desperately trying to avoid a Conservative defeat in Eastleigh, which goes to the polls today.

Asked whether he had confidence in how Clegg had handled the scandal, Cameron said: "Obviously these are serious issues and serious matters and they need to be taken seriously.

"The Liberal Democrats have set up two inquiries into this issue. I think you have to let those inquiries take place and make sure, as I've said before, they get to the bottom of these very important allegations."

Alison Smith, one of the women making a complaint against Rennard, is meeting police today.

"I will be talking to the police and I think the trial by media, probably it is time for that to finish," she told the BBC.

The Spectator magazine reported that a second sexual harassment allegation was brought to Clegg's attention but he failed to act on it.

The alleged victim wrote to the Lib Dem leader raising concerns about Mike Hancock, MP for Portsmouth South, who she said placed his hand on her breast, exposed himself and kissed her without consent on several occasions.