THE Mike Hancock era is officially over in Portsmouth.
Just weeks after his defeat at the general election, the former MP has decided to hang up his political hat for good – and put his parliamentary office at 1A Albert Road up for rent.
I will be sad to leave here, especially when I look back on the cases I have worked on, some as long as 20 years ago.Former Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock
It comes after Mr Hancock, who also lost his bid to reclaim a seat on the city council, revealed he and his wife Jacqui were planning a European adventure this summer in light of the result.
The office, used as an advice surgery during the veteran politician’s career as the MP for Portsmouth South, is available for anyone with £8,000 a year spare.
Mr Hancock first represented Portsmouth South after winning a by-election in 1984.
And yesterday he told The News he’s been given two months to clear out by his landlord and is sorting through ‘hundreds of thousands’ of pieces of correspondence from constituents that he has helped over the years. He said residents are being given the option of having their files handed back or given to the new Portsmouth South MP, Flick Drummond.
‘I will be sad to leave here, especially when I look back on the cases I have worked on, some as long as 20 years ago,’ he said.
‘I remember the cases I had to deal with. I hope people’s lives were helped by what I did for them.
‘It’s also sad the staff who have worked for me now have to leave.
‘You wouldn’t believe how much work there is to do.’
Mr Hancock said letters are being sent to constituents telling them now Mrs Drummond is who they should be going to now for help.
He added: ‘I am sad to no longer be the MP, but it was inevitable. All good things have to come to an end.’ Meanwhile, Lib Dem Gerald Vernon-Jackson, who also stood for election in Portsmouth South, said it was too early to say whether he would run for the seat again.
He lost by 5,241 votes to Tory candidate Ms Drummond. ‘What we have to think about and work on, is there was a sizeable majority of people in Portsmouth South who didn’t vote Conservative,’ he said.
‘Yet the election system we have got and the way people voted meant the Conservatives got a majority government and we have two Tory MPs in Portsmouth.’