Hancock hearing due on Monday

Liberal Democrat MP Mike Hancock will face a disciplinary hearing next week to determine whether he should lose the party whip over "very serious allegations" of sexual assault. He strenuously denies the accusations.

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Hancock disciplinary hearing on Monday afternoon

Following Mike Hancock's receipt of legal papers in a High Court civil action, Nick Clegg 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.

This meeting will take place in Westminster on Monday afternoon. Mike Hancock strenuously denies the accusations.

We are not pre-judging 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.

– Liberal Democrat spokesperson

Clegg says he is looking at suspending Mike Hancock

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".

I immediately asked our chief whip to start disciplinary proceedings, including the possiblity of suspending the party whip.

The next step is that a meeting is held, between myself, my deputy Simon Hughes, the chief whip and Mike Hancock, and I am hoping to do that today at the very earliest opportunity.

As leader of the party, you have got to react when allegations of this seriousness are made, you can't just sit there on your hands.

– Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg

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.

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Report: Mike Hancock refuses to be 'bullied' out of job

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:

I have no intention of allowing any circumstances to bully me out of my job serving the people of Portsmouth.

I will go at a time of my choosing or if the people decide to get rid of me.

– mike hancock, mp for portsmouth south

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.

MP disciplined due to 'seriousness of allegations'

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg decided to invoke disciplinary procedures against Mike Hancock due to "the seriousness of the allegations" against him.

Portsmouth South Liberal Democrat MP Mike Hancock. Credit: Chris Ison/PA Archive

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."

Clegg starts 'disciplinary procedures' against MP

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has started "disciplinary procedures" against a Liberal Democrat MP accused of sexual assault in a High Court civil action.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg. Credit: Matt Dunham/PA Wire

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.

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