Committee to decide future of investigation into Cllr Mike Hancock

Mike Hancock
Mike Hancock
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THE committee handling an investigation into the conduct of Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock will meet to decide whether to put its probe on hold.

Portsmouth City Council’s governance and audit and standards committee is meeting on August 15.

As previously reported in The News, Mr Hancock, who is also a councillor for Fratton, has asked for a probe into his conduct to be delayed until the outcome of a High Court case.

He is being sued in a civil action by a female constituent over allegations of sexual assault.

Mr Hancock won’t be available for the meeting.

He said: ‘We have done everything the court has asked us to do.

‘My barrister made it quite clear it would not be in my best interests to do this – so I requested it. I had hoped this would have been cleared away by now.

‘It’s now up to members to make that decision.’

Deputy Conservative group leader Cllr Luke Stubbs: ‘A decision was taken some months ago that there is a case to answer and it’s extraordinary to be talking of reversing it now.

‘The civil action is not new and if that is the basis for his request then perhaps he should have made those points back in March.

‘The taxpayer is paying for a QC to carry out this investigation; it would be a huge waste of money to start again.

‘The enquiries should all be wrapped up and if there is a genuine legal reason why the case can’t be concluded now then the evidence and report could be kept secret until a later date.

‘If Mike Hancock chooses not to co-operate and submit a defence, then that is a matter for him, but the case can still proceed without him.’

The meeting will be held at Portsmouth Guildhall’s executive meeting room from 10am.