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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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.