MP resigns Lib Dem party whip

One of the South's MPs, Mike Hancock - who represents Portsmouth South - has resigned his party whip while he fights allegations of sexual assault. The politician denies the allegations.

Portsmouth Lib Dem MP Hancock now an independent

by Phil Hornby

The people of Portsmouth South now have an independent MP. Mike Hancock resigned from the Liberal Democrat parliamentary party last night, after a special disciplinary hearing.

The MP said he was stepping down temporarily while he defended a High Court action against him. But as our political correspondent Phil Hornby reports, it is thought that Mr Hancock jumped - before he was pushed.

National

Mike Hancock resigning the Liberal Democrat whip

In a statement released through the party Liberal Democrat MP Mike Hancock has said he is withdrawing from the party whip:

Following our meeting today I have decided to offer to temporarily withdraw from the parliamentary party in the Commons until the civil court case against me has been concluded.

I can assure you that I will continue to vigorously defend my position and that I completely refute the allegations made against me.

I'm doing this in the best interests of the party nationally and in Portsmouth and for my family.

I will continue to work hard for my constituents in Portsmouth as I have always done.

– Mike Hancock MP

Advertisement

Disciplinary meeting for MP has finished

A disciplinary meeting at which the Liberal Democrats have been questioning Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock has finished. The hearing concerned allegations that the Hampshire politician had an inappropriate relationship with a female constituent.

The 66-year-old denies the allegations. The meeting is finished, but the Liberal Democrats say they are not releasing any further details at this stage.