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.
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.
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.
One of the South's MPs faces losing the party whip over allegations of sexual assault. Portsmouth South's Mike Hancock strenuously denies them but will face the Lib Dem leader today at a disciplinary meeting. Nick Clegg has admitted his party is considering suspending Mr Hancock.
“There has been a code of conduct complaint against Mike Hancock in his role as a Portsmouth City Councillor, which has been considered by the council’s assessment committee.
“The committee’s role is to assess whether the person was a councillor at the time of the alleged breach of the code and not to investigate the complaint itself. There will now be an investigation under the auspices of the City Solicitor for the council.
“Mike Hancock vigorously denies that he has broken the code of conduct. The allegations have previously been investigated by the police but no further action was taken. Mike Hancock will co-operate fully with the investigations of the city council and does not feel it appropriate to comment further.
"In the meantime he is recovering from major heart surgery and will continue to serve his constituents as an MP and a councillor to best of his ability.”.
Portsmouth City Council are to investigate a complaint against the Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock. The full details have not been revealed yet. However, the city's solicitor Michael Lawther has issued a statement.
"A sub-committee of Portsmouth City Council today decided to refer a complaint against Cllr Mike Hancock for investigation.
"The governance and audit and standards committee (assessment) sub-committee, made up of three councillors, considered evidence of a breach of the council's code of conduct and decided there was a case to answer. They made no judgement as to whether or not there had been a breach.
"I will now appoint an independent lawyer to carry out an investigation. We estimate the investigation will take two or three months.
"If a breach is proved against a councillor, they can be censured for their conduct."
– Portsmouth City Council - City solicitor, Michael Lawther