Panel to decide if MP should repay probe costs

Mike Hancock
Mike Hancock
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COUNCILLORS will consider if disgraced MP Mike Hancock should repay the full costs of a probe into his conduct.

Portsmouth City Council carried out an investigation last year into whether Mr Hancock breached the code of conduct over claims he acted inappropriately towards a female constituent.

The matter was dropped after Mr Hancock lost his seat as a councillor in the May elections, but it has been speculated that £150,000 of taxpayers’ money has been spent scrutinising the MP’s behaviour.

Tomorrow, Portsmouth City Council’s complaints panel is to discuss at a meeting being held at 2.30pm whether officers should provide a proper breakdown of all costs incurred, and if Mr Hancock should be ordered to pay back the council.

It comes in light of Mr Hancock – who has quit the Lib Dems and is an independent MP for Portsmouth South – admitting this summer that he did form an ‘inappropriate friendship’ with the woman.

He confessed in the out-of-court settlement that he ‘crossed the line’ with her. Mr Hancock also agreed to pay out an undisclosed fee to his victim.

The meeting will be in conference room A of the civic offices.