PORTSMOUTH South MP Mike Hancock has resigned from the Defence Select Committee.
Mr Hancock wrote to Liberal Democrat chief whip Alistair Carmichael to tender his resignation as a member of the Defence Select Committee with immediate effect.
In a letter to Mr Carmichael, the Portsmouth South MP said: ‘I have made this decision to allow the Select Committee to continue with its work unimpaired by current events.
‘It is not appropriate for me to provide running commentary on on-going legal proceedings, however I would like to make clear that at no time did I pass on material to Ms Zatuliveter which was not in the public domain or which was classified.
‘My time serving on the Defence Select Committee has been a real honour and I would like to pay tribute to the important work that it does and to my colleagues on the Committee.
‘I hope that we can revisit my membership following the conclusion of the on-going case.’
In reply, Mr Carmichael thanked Mr Hancock for his service.
He wrote: ‘As a member of the Committee for more than a decade, you have contributed to its hugely important and influential work for which you are owed a great deal of thanks.
‘I understand your reasons for wishing to step down. I think that your concern in acting to protect the work of the Select Committee is exactly what I would have expected of you.
‘I appreciate that this is a very difficult time for you and your family, needless to say should it ever be possible for you to return to a role of this sort, I would be keen that you should do so. ‘