The Staggers 25 February 2013 Lib Dem candidate: "we are going on about whether somebody put his hand on somebody's knee...this isn't a Jimmy Savile case" Party candidate Jasper Gerard claims that allegations of sexual misconduct against Chris Rennard have been "blown out of all proportion". Print HTML After the events of recent days, one might assume that all Lib Dems would go out of their way to show contrition, but not party candidate and former Observer journalist Jasper Gerard. Appearing on The World At One, Gerard, the author of a biography of Nick Clegg, said of the allegations of sexual misconduct by Chris Rennard: "We are still now going on about whether somebody put his hand or didn't put his hand on somebody's knee. This isn't a Jimmy Savile case revisited." It's the kind of comment that exemplifies precisely why allegations of this kind aren't taken seriously to begin with. And there was more. Gerard, who was recently selected as the Lib Dem PPC for Maidstone and The Weald, suggested that the "unfortunate" claims had been "blown out of all proportion", describing them as "pretty historical". "You've got to bear in mind that [Rennard] hasn't even been chief executive of the party for four years. Are we going to start dredging up things that Lloyd George did? This is pretty historical." In response to his comments, Alison Smith, one of Rennard's alleged victims, tweeted, "Hoping that Jasper Gerrard will be deselected for those comments #Rennard". › Cardinal Keith O'Brien resigns over accusations of inappropriate behaviour Former Liberal Democrat leader Menzies Campbell with former party chief executive Chris Rennard at the Liberal Democrat conference in 2006. Photograph: Getty Images. George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman. From only £1 per week Subscribe More Related articles 7 problems with the Snooper’s Charter, according to the experts The buck doesn't stop with Grant Shapps - and probably shouldn't stop with Lord Feldman, either The Fire Brigades Union reaffiliates to Labour - what does it mean?