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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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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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