Hancock resigns Lib Dem whip

Liberal Democrat MP Mike Hancock has said he is withdrawing from the party whip while he contests sexual assault allegations against him in the High Court.

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Lib Dems: Mike Hancock intends to clear his name

Liberal Democrat MP Mike Hancock has quit the party whip while he contests allegations of sexual assault at the High Court.

Mr Hancock is being sued in a civil action by a "vulnerable" constituent, who accused him of sexual assault after she contacted him for help in a dispute with a neighbour.

Liberal Democrat MP Mike Hancock. Credit: Press Association

A Liberal Democrat spokesman said: "Mike Hancock has chosen to resign the party whip while he defends himself against very serious allegations in a High Court civil action.

"Mike Hancock strenuously denies the allegations made in the civil case and intends to clear his name in court."

Mr Hancock 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.

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

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