Former Liberal Democrat comms chief criticised in Morrissey Report

Former Liberal Democrat head of comms Jonny Oates has come in for criticism in the independent report into the party's handling of sexual harassment complaints.

Lib Dem chief of staff: Jonny Oates
Lib Dem chief of staff: Jonny Oates
Oates, who is currently chief of staff for the party, was director of electoral campaigns when The Daily Telegraph sent details of specific allegations from women about party members to him on 30 April 2010.

The report, which was authored by businesswoman Helena Morrissey, concluded that Oates could have been clearer about party leader Nick Clegg’s awareness of the situation. It stated:

‘Oates’ denial of Clegg’s awareness was more black-and-white than the reality of the situation. While it was technically true that Clegg was unaware of the specific alleged incidences as detailed by the newspaper in its correspondence with him, Oates could have made it clear that Clegg was aware of several anonymous, "non-specific" allegations.’

Oates was director of communications and policy for the party before moving to Bell Pottinger Public Affairs in 2008.

The Telegraph said that after taking legal advice it did not publish details of the allegations as none of the women wished to make public their concerns at the time.

The report was commissioned by the party in the wake of a number of women coming forward to complain about the behaviour of former party chief executive Lord Rennard, who denies the allegations.

A Liberal Democrat spokesman said: ‘We accept the report and its findings in full.’

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Latest Articles

John Lewis to tell brand story with "tasteful" 150th anniversary celebrations

John Lewis to tell brand story with "tasteful" 150th anniversary celebrations

Department store John Lewis is to use its 150th anniversary this year to talk about its history, which "not enough people know about", according to director of communications Peter Cross.

Labour hires Obama election strategist David Axelrod to fight General Election

Labour hires Obama election strategist David Axelrod to fight General Election

The man who helped Barack Obama win the 2008 and 2012 US presidential elections is to work for Labour along with members of his team.

Sky adds Fever PR to its roster after splitting with Cake

Sky adds Fever PR to its roster after splitting with Cake

Pay-TV giant Sky has added Fever PR to its agency line-up for a wide-ranging brief covering products and services.

Max Clifford trial jury to continue deliberations after Easter break

Max Clifford trial jury to continue deliberations after Easter break

The jury in the trial of celebrity publicist Max Clifford has been sent home for Easter and will reconvene on Tuesday for further deliberations about its verdicts on 11 charges of indecent assault.

Home Office brings in Munro & Forster to campaign against FGM

Home Office brings in Munro & Forster to campaign against FGM

The Home Office has tasked Munro & Forster (M&F) with supporting its campaign to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM) as part of a wider retained brief.