Sex, lies and scandal — not the usual ingredients of a parliamentary special election in Britain. But Thursday’s contest for the southern English constituency of Eastleigh has been overshadowed by the torrid trials of the centrist Liberal Democrats, including the criminal conviction of a former Cabinet minister and allegations of sexual harassment against a senior party official. The election was called to fill the seat vacated by ex-Energy Secretary Chris Huhne, who resigned earlier this month after admitting that, a decade ago, he had asked his wife to take a speeding ticket for him, even though he had been driving. He faces a possible jail term for perverting justice, and his high-flying political career is in ruins. The Liberal Democrats’ efforts to hang onto the seat have been hampered by accusations that former chief executive Chris Rennard inappropriately touched and propositioned several women in incidents dating back a decade.
Scotland Yard detectives have been asked to investigate, and at least one former party worker says she will make an official complaint against Rennard, who stepped down in 2009.
Lib Dem leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has been accused of failing to act after admitting he had heard stories about Rennard’s behavior several years ago.
“There were some very serious mistakes and the women were not listened to and were let down,” Clegg said Wednesday.
The troubles are the latest woes for Clegg’s party, which became the junior partner in Britain’s Conservative-led coalition government after the 2010 national election.
Full Article: Britain holds scandal-tarred special election | Deseret News.