Call made for new investigation into Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock’s behaviour

Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock
Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock
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A CALL has been made for a new police investigation to be launched into Mike Hancock’s conduct.

Former Lib Dem councillor John Thompson wants a force outside Hampshire to hold another probe into allegations about the Portsmouth South MP’s behaviour.

Mr Thompson says he has confidential information that points to flaws in Hampshire Constabulary’s original investigation that looked into the behaviour of the MP towards the female constituent.

Hampshire police arrested Mr Hancock in 2010 over claims he carried out a sexual assault, but the Crown Prosecution Service decided there was not enough evidence to make a charge.

But Mr Thompson is planning to write to the Independent Police Complaints Commission requesting a new case and a fresh file of evidence be given to the CPS.

He does not believe all witnesses were interviewed and the woman’s plight was not taken seriously enough.

‘In the last three months, material has come to light which would indicate that the police did not deal with this in the manner the alleged victim and the rest of us would have suspected,’ Mr Thompson said. ‘In the interests of justice and the way such complaints are dealt with in the future, this must be duly re-examined.’

As reported, Mr Hancock apologised this summer for forming an ‘inappropriate friendship’ with the woman, bringing to an end a civil case she brought against him after the police investigation was dropped.

The county force decided not to take action against Mr Hancock again last year after reviewing a dossier by QC Nigel Pascoe into his actions.

The apology was not an admission of guilt over the sexual assault claims.

Cllr Eleanor Scott, who quit the Lib Dems earlier this year over the Hancock scandal, said she supported the move.

‘I back a call for the investigation to be looked at by the IPCC,’ she said.

‘This isn’t going to go away, it needs examining properly.’

Cllr John Ferrett, Labour group leader, said: ‘There are grounds for the police to have a look at this again.’

A Hampshire Constabulary spokeswoman said police had no further comment to make on the investigation.

Council lost thousands challenging use of QC’s report

THOUSANDS of pounds of taxpayers’ money was spent challenging the use of a dossier concerning Mike Hancock’s conduct in the civil case against him.

Portsmouth City Council’s solicitor Michael Lawther decided to make an application to the High Court against the use of the report by QC Nigel Pascoe as evidence in proceedings.

He argued that as the document was being used at the time in the council’s investigation into Mr Hancock, it would be wrong for it to be released before councillors reached a decision.

The council lost, but the civil case never went to court because Mr Hancock apologised. Figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show the council spent £1,605 preparing the application and paid £5,500 in costs to solicitors representing Mr Hancock’s victim.