Mike Hancock wants council investigation delayed

Mike Hancock
Mike Hancock
Residents protestedon Monday at Fareham Civic Offices against  a proposal to build more homes in the Portchester/Fareham area

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Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock has told Portsmouth City Council he does not want to participate in an investigation into his conduct until High Court proceedings have concluded.

Mr Hancock, who is also a councillor in the city, is being sued at the High Court in a civil action by a female constituent over allegations of sexual assault.

Mr Hancock strongly denies the claims.

As reported in The News, the city council has also launched its own investigation into his conduct.

But now it says Mr Hancock does not want to take part in its investigation until the High Court proceedings have concluded first.

Mr Hancock told The News: ‘This is the advice I have been given by my barrister.

‘And you don’t pay for expensive legal advice only to ignore it.

‘I will fully co-operate with the council, I have no problem whatsoever, but my barrister’s advice is not to do that until after the High Court.’

Mr Hancock was arrested by police over the allegations, but no action was taken as the Crown Prosecution Service said there was insufficient evidence.

He resigned the Lib Dem party whip last month, and said he was stepping down from the Liberal Democrats temporarily while he contested the allegations.

In a statement, Michael Lawther, Portsmouth City Council’s city solicitor, said: ‘Councillor Hancock has indicated that he does not wish to participate in the council investigation until High Court proceedings taken against him by the complainant have been concluded.

‘I am reporting back to the council sub-committee that authorised the investigation and asking them for further instructions.

‘We will arrange a sub-committee meeting at the earliest possible opportunity, hopefully in a matter of weeks, so the matter can be discussed.’