QC backs his report into Mike Hancock’s conduct being leaked

Mike Hancock
Mike Hancock
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QC Nigel Pascoe has backed parts of his report into Mike Hancock’s conduct being leaked.

As previously reported, Mr Pascoe produced a dossier for Portsmouth City Council into claims that the Fratton councillor sexually assaulted a woman who came to him for help.

Parts of it have been quoted by the national media and Mr Pascoe believes it has proven useful for the alleged victim.

He’s also called for the report to be made public for all concerned.

He said: ‘The constituent was entitled to know the views I had formed of her evidence, even though the full view has not yet been made public.

‘That is the reason why in my view, it would be better for my full report to be published sooner rather than later.

‘In the meantime, I hope that some responsible journalists will draw attention to one of my conclusions which has been made public in the redacted version, namely my admiration for the way that she addressed her mental health issues in front of me.’

Mr Pascoe’s comments came before the entire 52-page report was printed online.

Meanwhile, Portsmouth’s Conservative group leader, Cllr Donna Jones, believes an announcement is due to be made ‘imminently’ by Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, leader of the council, that Cllr Hancock is to be suspended.

It would mean that he would become an independent councillor, and be stripped of his title as cabinet member for planning, regeneration and economic redevelopment.

He would still hold his membership of the Liberal Democrats nationally unless action is taken from the federal party.

Cllr Jones said: ‘It is my belief that the leader of the council could be breaking the council’s code of conduct in relation to standards in public office by putting vulnerable people in the city in a potential position of danger in allowing Cllr Hancock to remain in a position of power.

‘The leader could also be guilty of bringing the council into disrepute by failing to take immediate and urgent action.

‘If this was a conservative councillor I would have suspended the, from the outset to simply protect both the councillor and alleged victim.’