A senior Liberal Democrat from West Watford has said the apology from Lord Rennard over accusations of sexual harassment "does not go far enough".

Susan Gaszczak called on the party to “show leadership” over the allegations the peer's behaviour towards women activists.

However 42-year-old welcomed the fact Lord Rennard had moved away from strenuously denying he had done anything inappropriate.

The peer issued an apology expressing regret for any “harm or embarrassment” caused by his behaviour in an attempt to bring “closure” to the episode.

Ms Gaszczak, who is on the party’s Federal Conference Committee, said: “It is not a great apology. I welcome the fact it is a far move from strenuously denying everything, saying this never happened and almost calling us fantasists.

“It is a far move from what he has been saying for the last 15 months. So in that way it is good but it does not go far enough.

“Maybe it is time the party showed some leadership in this process.”

Lord Rennard, a former chief executive of the party, has been suspended from the Liberal Democrats over allegations made by a number of female activists.

An internal party investigation by a barrister, Alistair Webster QC, last year found evidence of inappropriate behaviour by the peer, however said it could not prove this beyond reasonable doubt.

Until now the lord has outright denied any wrongdoing. However this week he issued an apology to four women, including Ms Gaszczak, for any behaviour “which made them feel uncomfortable.”

A letter from his solicitors said: “He hereby expresses his regret for any harm or embarrassment caused to them or anything which made them feel uncomfortable.

“Lord Rennard wishes to make it absolutely clear that it was never his intention to cause distress or concern to them by anything that he ever said or did. He also hopes that they will accept that the events of the last fourteen months have been a most unhappy experience for him, his family and friends and for the party.”