Of all the things that Tim Farron could have looked to make light of in his final speech as Lib Dem president:
“There are some parts of the job that I’m happy to pass on.
“The next time any of you get caught with your pants round your ankles the media can call someone else to comment.
Let’s see. On his watch we’ve had:
- Cyril Smith: exposed as prolific abuser of children
- Lord Rennard: accused of groping party members
- Mike Hancock: admitted to ‘degrading’ vulnerable constituent
The distinctly muted laughter said it all: the auditorium knew it was an off gag.
UPDATE: A lawyer for one of the victims of the above parliamentarians tells Scrapbook:
“How can the Liberal Democrats expect anyone to take their conference policy announcement on mandatory reporting of child abuse seriously, if they think sexual abuse by their own party members is a laughing matter?