MIKE Hancock will keep his seat on the cabinet of Portsmouth City Council.
The decision was made at a three-hour meeting of the Liberal Democrats at the civic offices.
In a statement read out by deputy leader Councillor Hugh Mason they said: ‘The group decided that the Independent councillor Mike Hancock should retain his seat on the cabinet of the city council.
‘This was decided because Cllr Hancock is best placed to fulfil the role of cabinet member for planning, regeneration and economic development.
‘Cllr Mike Hancock no longer remains a member of the Portsmouth City Council Liberal Democrat Group because, having had his membership suspended by the party at national level, it is not possible for him to remain a member of the city council group until the suspension is lifted.
‘The group acknowledges that the suspension has been imposed beforehe issue to which suspension relates has been properly and fairly determined through due process in the courts.’
The decision to let him keep the position on the influential decision-making group comes after he was suspended by the national Lib Dems following the leaking of a report which included allegations of lewd behaviour to a constituent.