VOTERS say it is time for Mike Hancock to step down due to his ill health.
But they say the man that has represented Portsmouth’s Fratton ward for more than four decades should be ‘respected’ for the good work he has done for constituents.
It comes after the independent councillor, told The News he’s too unwell to carry out his duties – despite being determined to defend his seat at the local elections on May 22.
Cllr Hancock has been treated for depression and complications arising from a recent heart operation and reports say he has been staying at a Priory clinic.
Jason Davison, 45, who lives in Fratton, remembers well how Cllr Hancock went out of his way for him.
‘Twenty-three years ago I lived in Clanfield,’ he said.
‘I lost my flat because I didn’t have the money and three days before I was thrown out I went to speak to speak to my local councillor, who then was Mike Hancock.
‘He sat there and listened and the very same day I was given a new place.
‘I am massively disappointed about what’s happened to him.
‘But he is a man of massive, massive respect.’
Arnie Martin, 58, of Fratton Road, said: ‘I don’t think he should be standing again.
‘I have never met him and I have lived in Fratton for eight years.
‘What does he stand for and what does he do?’
Fratton resident Arthur Cooper said: ‘He is a good man and he helped me. He got me a house.’
As reported, Cllr Hancock is being sued at the High Court over claims he sexually assaulted a woman who came to him for help – which he strongly denies.
Karen Burt, 35, of Alver Road, Fratton, said she once voted for Cllr Hancock – also a Portsmouth MP.
‘I am sorry that he is in hospital,’ she said.
Karen’s partner Des Frith, 57, said: ‘I don’t think it’s right for him to represent people while he is ill.’
The High Court case against Cllr Hancock is expected to start next month.
Local election is about ‘real issues and not careers of politicians’
PARTY candidates hoping to snatch Mike Hancock’s seat as councillor for Fratton have questioned how he can continue doing the job.
Conservative candidate David Tompkins said: ‘By not attending any meetings since February and being too unwell to campaign during election time, Cllr Hancock raises serious questions about his ability to do the job he’s applying for.’
John Pickett, hoping to clinch the role on behalf of Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, said it didn’t matter whether Cllr Hancock was in hospital or not.
‘Mike Hancock can fight this election from a hospital bed or on the doorstep and our position will be the same,’ he said.
‘This election is about real issues, not the careers of professional politicians.
‘We’ll fight him on his record, as a supporter of cuts both locally and in Westminster.’
Tom Coles, of the Labour Party, said: ‘If he is too unwell to campaign, he is too unwell to be a councillor. But I want to beat him on my own merits, rather than on health grounds.’
Also standing are Steven George, of the Justice & Anti-Corruption Party, and Julie Swan, of Ukip.
Mike Hancock timeline
July 2010 – Allegations about Cllr Hancock’s behaviour a woman made to her support worker are reported to the police.
October 2010 – Cllr Hancock is arrested over claims.
December 2010 – It is conﬁrmed that he would not face criminal charges in the case.
2011 – Cllr Hancock is served court papers after alleged victim lodges civil case at High Court against him.
March 2013 – Portsmouth City Council launches investigation into Cllr Hancock’s conduct.
November 2013 – Council panel overseeing complaint says it won’t decide whether he is guilty of breaking the council’s conduct of conduct until the outcome of the civil case.
February 2014 - He goes into hospital. He also quits council cabinet role.
April 2014 - He says he will defend council seat
May 2014 - Cllr Hancock is too ill to run his own election campaign.