Senior Watford Lib Dem, Susan Gaszczak, resigns from party over handling of Lord Rennard scandal (From Watford Observer)
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Senior Watford Lib Dem, Susan Gaszczak, resigns from party over handling of Lord Rennard scandal
A senior Liberal Democrat from West Watford has torn up her membership of the party over the Lord Rennard scandal.
Susan Gaszczak said she could not longer remain in a party that “feels it is acceptable for the then chief executive to invite me to his hotel room to advance my political career”.
The 42-year-old’s resignation comes after she said Lord Chris Rennard’s apology in May over accusations of sexual harassment did not go far enough.
Last year she was one of four women in the party to go public with accusations the peer had acted inappropriately towards them.
Lord Rennard has always denied the allegations but in May apologised for any behaviour that had made female party members feel "uncomfortable".
The peer, who used to be the party's chief executive, is currently suspended from the Liberal Democrats.
In an open letter Ms Gaszczak said she was leaving the party she had joined as a teenager even though she still supported its policies.
She said: “I can no longer remain a member of a party that feels it is acceptable for the then chief executive to invite me to his hotel room to advance my political career. Even though I have complained, and raised this for over seven years, the party still do not see the complaint as an issue.
“This week the appeals panel met and threw out our appeal to an unfair process. I have been called credible more than once. Yet still no-one feels it is appropriate to deal with the issue.
“I know I am not alone: even as recently as the last media storm, more women have admitted he did this to them. Only four of us were brave enough to go public – how many more do you need on public record? You have a serious thorn in your side. He claims to have built the party, but actually I see him destroying it.”