Pressure mounts on Portsmouth MP Mike Hancock

Pressure is growing on Portsmouth MP Mike Hancock who has been suspended from the Liberal Democrat group over harassment allegations.

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Portsmouth MP Mike Hancock to remain in cabinet

Liberal Democrat councillors have allowed Portsmouth South MP, Mike Hancock to remain on their cabinet.

The group decided that Councillor Hancock is best placed to fulfil the role of cabinet member for planning, regeneration and economic development.

Pressure has been growing on Mr Hancock this week after a report found "compelling" evidence of "serious and unwelcome sexual behaviour" towards a woman constituent.

He has been suspended from the Liberal Democrat Party.

At a meeting in Portsmouth last night - it was decided Mr Hancock could no longer work as Lib Dem councillor - but could remain as an independent. Cllr Hugh Mason, Deputy Leader of Portsmouth City Council gave us this statement.

Portsmouth Lib Dems keep Hancock in cabinet

The Liberal Democrat group on Portsmouth City Council has said Cllr Mike Hancock will remain in their cabinet. Following a meeting of the group tonight, they released the following statement:

Councillor Mike Hancock no longer remains a member of the Portsmouth City Liberal Democrat Group because, having had his membership suspended by the party at national level, it is not possible for him to remain a member of the City Council group until the suspension is lifted.

The Group acknowledges that the suspension has been imposed before the issue to which suspension relates has been properly and fairly determined through due process in the courts."

– Portsmouth Liberal Democrats

The statement continued:

The Group decided that the Independent Councillor Mike Hancock should retain his seat on the Cabinet of the City Council. This was decided because Councillor Hancock is best placed to fulfil the role of Cabinet Member for planning, regeneration and economic development."

– Portsmouth Liberal Democrats


Hancock made "unwelcome sexual approaches"

The report was written by Nigel Pascoe QC, who was asked by the city council to investigate the allegations for code of conduct proceedings.

The woman, a female constituent and a young mother, says Mr Hancock made "unwelcome sexual approaches".

The leaked, redacted version of the report describes the account she gave as "credible".

Mr Hancock denies the allegations. Police investigated but said no further action should be taken.

He was suspended from the Liberal Democrats on Wednesday and currently sits as an independent MP.

The latest legal moves come in a week when the party has also been rocked by complaints against Lord Rennard, the party's former chief executive.

Court rules Hancock sex claims report can be seen by 'victim'

The alleged sexual assault victim of MP Mike Hancock has won a bid to force a Lib-Dem-led council to make available a full version of a QC's report about her accusations at a forthcoming civil court action.

Portsmouth City Council, where Hancock is a councillor, opposed the application for full disclosure of the report - a redacted version of which has already been leaked to the public.

But Master Leslie, a High Court official, ruled disclosure was necessary so that the woman could feel she had "a fair hearing and a fair crack of the whip".

  1. National

Clegg 'acted immediately' when told of Hancock claims

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg said he "acted immediately" when he was told legal proceedings were being taken against MP Mike Hancock, who has been accused of sexual misconduct.

The Deputy Prime Minister said: "You can only react to things that are put to you and the first time that specific allegations were put to me was when legal proceedings were launched at the beginning of last year.

"That is when I acted, I acted immediately because I was as appalled as anyone by the seriousness of these allegations, and that's why I now want to see justice done.

"The process, which is now in the courts, should be seen through to its conclusion".


Pressure grows on Portsmouth MP Mike Hancock

Pressure is growing on Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock after a report found "compelling" evidence of "serious and unwelcome sexual behaviour" towards a woman constituent.

Mr Hancock voluntarily resigned the Lib Dem whip last year to contest a High Court civil action alleging sexual impropriety.

This week the MP was suspended from the Lib Dem group of Portsmouth City Council where he also serves.

Police decided he had no case to answer, but a report commissioned by Portsmouth City Council prompted the Lib Dems to take action.

The alleged victim in the case told ITV News that she does not believe the party has taken her claims seriously.

Mr Hancock denies all of the allegations against him.

  1. Sally Simmonds

Clash outside home of Portsmouth South MP Hancock

A man has been arrested after clashing with a member of the press outside the home of the Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock. The photographer was left with a bloody nose after the incident today, in an altercation with Mr Hancock's 37- year-old son.

The politician was suspended from the Liberal Democrat party last night after a leaked report into alleged sexual impropriety with a female constituent. He denies any wrong-doing.

Mr Hancock remains a city councillor - and an independent MP. Sally Simmonds reports.

  1. National

Lib Dems suspend MP Mike Hancock's membership

The Liberal Democrats have suspended the party membership of MP and Councillor Mike Hancock after receiving a Portsmouth City Council report into allegations of sexual impropriety:

The Liberal Democrats have this afternoon, for the first time, had sight of a Portsmouth City Council report by Nigel Pascoe QC into allegations of sexual impropriety by Mike Hancock.

Mike Hancock resigned as a Liberal Democrat MP last year in order to contest allegations of sexual impropriety in a High Court civil action.

Given Nigel Pascoe QC’s conclusions in his report, we have immediately suspended Mike Hancock’s membership of the party.

– Liberal Democrat spokesperson
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