- 5 updates
Deputy Prime Minister and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has confirmed he will hold a meeting later today to decide whether to suspend Mike Hancock, who has been accused of sexual assault in a High Court civil action.
Mr Clegg said that "as leader of the party, you have got to react when allegations of this seriousness are made".
Mr Clegg, who was speaking on LBC, added that: "The nature of the allegations are very serious, and they are allegations at the moment, I have got to stress that."
Mr Hancock denies the claims.
The Liberal Democrat MP for Portsmouth South, Mike Hancock, has reportedly told BBC News that he will not allow anyone to "bully" him out of his post:
The MP is also reported to have said he would not attend a disciplinary meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg due to medical appointments.
Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg decided to invoke disciplinary procedures against Mike Hancock due to "the seriousness of the allegations" against him.
A Lib Dem spokesman said: "Following Mike Hancock's receipt of legal papers in a High Court civil action, Nick Clegg has asked the chief whip to convene an urgent meeting under the disciplinary procedures of the parliamentary party between Nick Clegg, Simon Hughes, the chief whip and Mike Hancock.
"Mike Hancock strenuously denies the accusations made in the civil action.
"We are not prejudging the outcome of the case, but given the seriousness of the allegations, Nick Clegg has instructed the chief whip to invoke the disciplinary procedures of the party."
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has started "disciplinary procedures" against a Liberal Democrat MP accused of sexual assault in a High Court civil action.
Mike Hancock is being sued over alleged inappropriate conduct with a constituent after she contacted him for help in a neighbour dispute.
Mr Hancock, who vigorously denied the claims, was arrested by police over the allegations in 2010 but no action was taken as the Crown Prosecution Service said there was insufficient evidence for a prosecution.