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Under fire MP Mike Hancock in hospital

Mike Hancock is in hospital following weeks of pressure over his future Credit: ITV Meridian

Under fire Portsmouth MP Mike Hancock is in hospital following calls for him to resign over harassment claims.

Mr Hancock's office said he has been in hospital since the end of last week and will remain so until at least the end of next week.

His offices in London and Portsmouth remain open as usual.

The Portsmouth South MP has been suspended from the Liberal Democrat party.

It follows a leaked report into alleged sexual impropriety with a female constituent.

He denies any wrong-doing but is facing a civil case brought by his accuser.

Portsmouth City Council statement on Mike Hancock

We understand that councillor Mike Hancock has resigned from the cabinet of Portsmouth City Council. The Liberal Democrat group will be selecting a successor for the planning, regeneration and economic development portfolio.

Mike Hancock continues to be a Portsmouth City Council councillor.

– David Williams, chief executive of Portsmouth City Council

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Hancock quits Portsmouth City Council ruling cabinet

MP Mike Hancock has stepped down from the ruling cabinet of Portsmouth City Council.

He was suspended from the Liberal Democrat party last month after the leak of a report into allegations of sexual impropriety. He has denied the claims.

Mr Hancock was suspended from the Liberal Democrat party last month Credit: Press Association

Mr Hancock resigned the parliamentary party whip last year, but was still sitting as a Lib Dem councillor until the local group ruled that his suspension meant it must strip him of the party banner.

The announcement of his resignation came hours before a meeting at which local Lib Dems were expected to decide whether Mr Hancock could retain his responsibility for regeneration and economic development while sitting as an independent councillor.

Portsmouth Council: Hancock to stay on Council Cabinet

Following a private meeting this evening, Portsmouth City Council's Liberal Democrat group has said Mike Hancock will retain his seat on the council's cabinet.

He has been forced to stand as an independent councillor as he was suspended as a member of the party yesterday over claims of sexual misconduct, which he denies.

Explaining their decision, the group said: "This was decided because Councillor Hancock is best placed to fulfil the role of cabinet member for planning, regeneration and economic development."

As well as being a local councillor, Mr Hancock is also an MP for Portsmouth South.

Hancock's 'victim' recorded call to Clegg's office in 2011

ITV News has obtained a recording of the call a woman made to Nick Clegg's office in June 2011 following up on a letter she says she wrote three months earlier detailing allegations of sexual misconduct against the then Lib Dem MP Mike Hancock. He denies the claims against him.

In the call, she is heard saying: "I wrote to Nick Clegg back in March [2011] and again in May and I still haven't had a courtesy letter."

Mr Clegg said today he "acted immediately" last year when he was told legal proceedings were being taken against Mr Hancock, who has been accused of sexual misconduct. He withdrew the party whip.

But the woman's solicitor told ITV News the party was made aware two years earlier, but nothing was done.

In March 2011, the alleged victim says she wrote a letter sent by recorded delivery to the Lib Dem leader's office. The party say they did not receive it.

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Account over Hancock sex claims described as 'credible'

Master Leslie, a High Court official, ruled disclosure of a report into councillor and former Lib Dem MP Mike Hancock was necessary so that the woman could feel she had "a fair hearing and a fair crack of the whip".

Councillor and MP Mike Hancock. Credit: ITV News

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".

Court rules 'victim' can see Hancock sex claims report

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".

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".

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