The former Liberal Democrat chief executive says he refutes allegations of sexual impropriety which were first reported on Channel 4 News, and will co-operate with any "properly constituted inquiry".

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In a statement issued this afternoon by a spokesman, Lord Rennard insisted he had received "no complaint or allegation about his behaviour" in 27 years of working for the Liberal Democrats.

The statement said: "He has been notified of an internal investigatory panel within the party. The matter must now be regarded as sub judice pending its proceedings and no further statement will be issued in the interim.

"He expects others to respect the sub judice principle, and he notes that under the party rules concerned it is for any case made against him to be proved by evidence to the requisite standard. He denies impropriety.

"He would reiterate that in 27 years of working for the Liberal Democrats he received no complaint or allegation about his behaviour.

"Nor is he aware of any personal complaints being made in the three and a half years since he stood down as chief executive until last week."

Channel 4 News first reported on allegations of sexual impropriety about Lord Rennard last week. Since then, the Liberal Democrats have launched an internal inquiry and an influential Lib Dem contacted the police over the matter on Monday, asking them to look into the allegations.

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