Watford Lib Dem activist Susan Gaszczak's quit threat over Lord Rennard row

Watford Observer: Susan Gaszczak giving an interview to Channel 4 News over the Lord Rennard investigation. Susan Gaszczak giving an interview to Channel 4 News over the Lord Rennard investigation.

A prominent Liberal Democrat woman from West Watford is considering tearing up her party membership over the Lord Rennard row.

Susan Gaszczak waived her anonymity last week to go public with allegations that the peer sexually harassed her.

The former Watford council candidate demanded an apology from Lord Rennard following the close of an investigation by a barrister into allegations by a number of women in the party against the peer.

The investigation found evidence of inappropriate behaviour by the lord but could not prove beyond "reasonable doubt" he had acted in an indecent way.

Following the report, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has also called on the peer to apologise to the women involved.

However Lord Rennard has maintained he has done nothing wrong and said he intends to take up his seat in the House of Lords.

Today Ms Gaszczak told the Watford Observer that she was minded to resign in light of Lord Rennard’s refusal to apologise.

She said: "I will have to make a decision today or in the next few days as to what I am going to do. I have had a lot of people contact me since I have said I am minded to resign (including my Tory relatives) to say I should stay.

"But I have to make a rational choice."

Ms Gaszczak has been an active campaigner for the Watford Liberal Democrats for a number years and worked on Sal Brinton’s bid to become the town’s MP in 2010.

She also stood as the Liberal Democrat candidate for Vicarage and Holywell in the 2009 county council elections.

Ms Gaszczak said she wanted a swift end to the Lord Rennard affair as she felt it could be a damaging distraction for the party in the run up to the 2015 General Election.

She also voiced fears it could affect local parties' ability to attract and maintain new members.

She added: "My worry is how much this has upset men and women alike, and whilst we are arguing we are not getting our strong messages out there. Someone needs to negotiate the end of this.

"It will have an effect on party members, and new ones and ones resigning because of this."

Comments (14)

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12:50pm Mon 20 Jan 14

Home Truths says...

The vast majority of people are not in the least but interested in this, or the fib dems come to that!l
The vast majority of people are not in the least but interested in this, or the fib dems come to that!l Home Truths
  • Score: 1

12:59pm Mon 20 Jan 14

JohnnyHornet says...

I think that threats are just for attention seeking, if the lady is concerned over Rennard what are her thoughts over Lib Dem Councillor Mike Hancock.
http://www.express.c
o.uk/news/uk/454746/
I-told-Lib-Dems-of-s
ex-assault-MP-yet-he
-s-still-a-councillo
r
I think that threats are just for attention seeking, if the lady is concerned over Rennard what are her thoughts over Lib Dem Councillor Mike Hancock. http://www.express.c o.uk/news/uk/454746/ I-told-Lib-Dems-of-s ex-assault-MP-yet-he -s-still-a-councillo r JohnnyHornet
  • Score: 10

1:12pm Mon 20 Jan 14

Phil Cox (UKIP) says...

Did anyone hear Clegg on Radio 4 this morning talking about this?

He sounded like he was missing a backbone.

There's only one obvious course of action and its not being taken. At least not yet. Maybe Clegg will be backed into a corner and be forced to act, but why doesn't he just do the right and decent thing in the first place?
Did anyone hear Clegg on Radio 4 this morning talking about this? He sounded like he was missing a backbone. There's only one obvious course of action and its not being taken. At least not yet. Maybe Clegg will be backed into a corner and be forced to act, but why doesn't he just do the right and decent thing in the first place? Phil Cox (UKIP)
  • Score: -2

1:14pm Mon 20 Jan 14

Phil Cox (UKIP) says...

Wasn't this brushed under the carpet before by that prominent female LibDem - I can't remember her name.

It's a mess, that's for sure.
Wasn't this brushed under the carpet before by that prominent female LibDem - I can't remember her name. It's a mess, that's for sure. Phil Cox (UKIP)
  • Score: 0

1:20pm Mon 20 Jan 14

Hornankey says...

She should do whatever she believes is right. I am not exactly sure why she feels the need to go public and canvass opinions from Uncle Tom Cobley et al.
She should do whatever she believes is right. I am not exactly sure why she feels the need to go public and canvass opinions from Uncle Tom Cobley et al. Hornankey
  • Score: 8

1:24pm Mon 20 Jan 14

JohnnyHornet says...

Phil Cox (UKIP) wrote:
Did anyone hear Clegg on Radio 4 this morning talking about this?

He sounded like he was missing a backbone.

There's only one obvious course of action and its not being taken. At least not yet. Maybe Clegg will be backed into a corner and be forced to act, but why doesn't he just do the right and decent thing in the first place?
I saw a yellow splodge on the pavement, he was appalling, I suspect they have failed to act as they can't prove it.
[quote][p][bold]Phil Cox (UKIP)[/bold] wrote: Did anyone hear Clegg on Radio 4 this morning talking about this? He sounded like he was missing a backbone. There's only one obvious course of action and its not being taken. At least not yet. Maybe Clegg will be backed into a corner and be forced to act, but why doesn't he just do the right and decent thing in the first place?[/p][/quote]I saw a yellow splodge on the pavement, he was appalling, I suspect they have failed to act as they can't prove it. JohnnyHornet
  • Score: 3

3:13pm Mon 20 Jan 14

Reader (R) says...

As I read it he (Lord Rennard) was accused of gross misconduct. If this was the case why then was the bar set so high so as to require an investigation to find guilt "Beyond reasonable doubt".

Internal disciplinary issues are regarded as civil matters and the bar is set lower to achieve a finding of guilt "On the balance of probability"
As I read it he (Lord Rennard) was accused of gross misconduct. If this was the case why then was the bar set so high so as to require an investigation to find guilt "Beyond reasonable doubt". Internal disciplinary issues are regarded as civil matters and the bar is set lower to achieve a finding of guilt "On the balance of probability" Reader (R)
  • Score: 1

3:21pm Mon 20 Jan 14

Harry Caine says...

I can't help wondering about Ms Gaszczak's silence when Jenny Tonge had the whip withdrawn and in fact still has.

But then I suppose Cleggie likely to grovel more to the Zio's agenda than mere women.

Perhaps Ms Gaszczak could really think about which side her political bread is buttered
I can't help wondering about Ms Gaszczak's silence when Jenny Tonge had the whip withdrawn and in fact still has. But then I suppose Cleggie likely to grovel more to the Zio's agenda than mere women. Perhaps Ms Gaszczak could really think about which side her political bread is buttered Harry Caine
  • Score: 1

3:36pm Mon 20 Jan 14

dontknowynot says...

Sexual harassment is clearly wrong, and from what has been made public in essence you have at least four "credible" complaints as such I fail to see any other organisation not taking this to a Disciplinary hearing to be decided.
As to the burden of proof it seems bonkers and in conflict with the party's duty of care to future potential victims.
On a practical level the time for the libdem party to get Rennard to apologise was during the investigation when the threat of disciplinary action would have been leverage.
A bit well a lot of a balls up really.
Good luck to this Susan Gaszczak
Sexual harassment is clearly wrong, and from what has been made public in essence you have at least four "credible" complaints as such I fail to see any other organisation not taking this to a Disciplinary hearing to be decided. As to the burden of proof it seems bonkers and in conflict with the party's duty of care to future potential victims. On a practical level the time for the libdem party to get Rennard to apologise was during the investigation when the threat of disciplinary action would have been leverage. A bit well a lot of a balls up really. Good luck to this Susan Gaszczak dontknowynot
  • Score: -5

3:44pm Mon 20 Jan 14

dontknowynot says...

Reader (R) wrote:
As I read it he (Lord Rennard) was accused of gross misconduct. If this was the case why then was the bar set so high so as to require an investigation to find guilt "Beyond reasonable doubt".

Internal disciplinary issues are regarded as civil matters and the bar is set lower to achieve a finding of guilt "On the balance of probability"
it is written in the constitution of the Libdem party membership for England
sec 7.9 vi h:-
"The members of the meeting shall then, by secret ballot, vote on whether the
charges have been made out beyond a reasonable doubt. Each charge shall be
voted upon separately"
Mind you this is the section dealing with the actual hearing and not the initial investigation.
As stated above I think this provision is Bonkers!
Now this is not a contract of employment and the guy should in theory not be getting any financial reward for membership so just exactly whaty damages he could claim is very unclear.
[quote][p][bold]Reader (R)[/bold] wrote: As I read it he (Lord Rennard) was accused of gross misconduct. If this was the case why then was the bar set so high so as to require an investigation to find guilt "Beyond reasonable doubt". Internal disciplinary issues are regarded as civil matters and the bar is set lower to achieve a finding of guilt "On the balance of probability"[/p][/quote]it is written in the constitution of the Libdem party membership for England sec 7.9 vi h:- "The members of the meeting shall then, by secret ballot, vote on whether the charges have been made out beyond a reasonable doubt. Each charge shall be voted upon separately" Mind you this is the section dealing with the actual hearing and not the initial investigation. As stated above I think this provision is Bonkers! Now this is not a contract of employment and the guy should in theory not be getting any financial reward for membership so just exactly whaty damages he could claim is very unclear. dontknowynot
  • Score: -2

8:03pm Mon 20 Jan 14

dontknowynot says...

BTW it is worth noting that on the Misogynistic front UKIP never want to be outdone hence Farrage promoting inequality today.

Vote Ukip you know it makes nonsense
BTW it is worth noting that on the Misogynistic front UKIP never want to be outdone hence Farrage promoting inequality today. Vote Ukip you know it makes nonsense dontknowynot
  • Score: -1

8:22pm Mon 20 Jan 14

Mr Watford of Watford says...

What does Susan want to achieve from this?? The issue has gone through the appropriate investigation. Just because Susan disagrees with the outcome of this investigation doesn't give her the right to persecute somebody who has not been found guilty of anything. It seems like a great opportunity for some free publicity and make a name for herself.
What does Susan want to achieve from this?? The issue has gone through the appropriate investigation. Just because Susan disagrees with the outcome of this investigation doesn't give her the right to persecute somebody who has not been found guilty of anything. It seems like a great opportunity for some free publicity and make a name for herself. Mr Watford of Watford
  • Score: 0

11:25am Tue 21 Jan 14

dontknowynot says...

Mr Watford of Watford wrote:
What does Susan want to achieve from this?? The issue has gone through the appropriate investigation. Just because Susan disagrees with the outcome of this investigation doesn't give her the right to persecute somebody who has not been found guilty of anything. It seems like a great opportunity for some free publicity and make a name for herself.
the issue has gone through an entirely inappropriate investigation that has absurdly concluded that FOUR "credible" accusations is not basis to go to a hearing.
I am sorry but this guy Rennard seems guilty as sin to me, I fail to see why Clegg did not insist on this going to a hearing, cynically it might have something to do with Rennard ensuring he got elected over Huhne by his ruling on cut of dates for postal votes at selection, but that wouldn't happen.
This person has absolutely every right to complain and stick with it!! The party have failed her in this, they have failed in their duty of care and because of their inaction are failing in respect of present and future members, shame on them.
[quote][p][bold]Mr Watford of Watford[/bold] wrote: What does Susan want to achieve from this?? The issue has gone through the appropriate investigation. Just because Susan disagrees with the outcome of this investigation doesn't give her the right to persecute somebody who has not been found guilty of anything. It seems like a great opportunity for some free publicity and make a name for herself.[/p][/quote]the issue has gone through an entirely inappropriate investigation that has absurdly concluded that FOUR "credible" accusations is not basis to go to a hearing. I am sorry but this guy Rennard seems guilty as sin to me, I fail to see why Clegg did not insist on this going to a hearing, cynically it might have something to do with Rennard ensuring he got elected over Huhne by his ruling on cut of dates for postal votes at selection, but that wouldn't happen. This person has absolutely every right to complain and stick with it!! The party have failed her in this, they have failed in their duty of care and because of their inaction are failing in respect of present and future members, shame on them. dontknowynot
  • Score: 0

10:35pm Tue 21 Jan 14

G_Whiz says...

But isn't being a liberal all about forgiving criminals, feeling sorry for them and ignoring the victims?

At least they are being true to form!
But isn't being a liberal all about forgiving criminals, feeling sorry for them and ignoring the victims? At least they are being true to form! G_Whiz
  • Score: 3

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