This is the full statement issued by Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock, apologising for his behaviour towards a female constituent.
‘“In October 2009 you first came to me as a constituent to seek my assistance as your MP and councillor.
‘Subsequently and over several months I came to your home on several occasions, sometimes unannounced and conducted a friendship with you that was inappropriate and unprofessional.
‘I understand that you felt degraded. I did not treat you with sufficient respect. I made you feel deeply uncomfortable and discriminated against, and I crossed the line.”
‘As a political representative there’s a significant power differential with any constituent seeking help and particularly with your vulnerability, of which I was aware. You had a right to trust me. Everyone should feel safe and should be able to have confidence in their political representatives and I am sorry that I made you feel otherwise. I have learnt from my mistakes and pledge not to act in the same way again.
‘There are no words that can take back the way that I made you feel.
‘I can only apologise unreservedly to you for any distress, anger and worsening of your psychiatric condition that I caused. I acknowledge also that your son’s been affected by the distress i caused you. I also recognise the hurtful and untrue statements I made publicly about your motivation in bringing the claim. These statements sought to discredit and undermine you. This never should have happened. I accept you did not bring the claim for financial gain and any statements made to the contrary were wrong. I also acknowledge that you have fought for many years to hold me to account and that this should have been resolved far sooner.
‘I myself would have wished for it to be resolved earlier and I’m sorry it wasn’t. I express my deep regret to you and your son for any harm my conduct has caused you.
‘It was never my intention to cause either of you any harm’