Mike Hancock To Face New Inquiry

17 September 2013, 13:40

Portsmouth City Councillor Mike Hancock, who's accused of sexual assault, will face a new inquiry into his behaviour.

A report's found he broke the council's code of conduct, and a fresh hearing will be held in a few weeks.

Mr Hancock, who's also the MP for Portsmouth South, is being sued at the High Court in a civil action by a "vulnerable" constituent, who accuses him of sexual assault after she contacted him for help in a dispute with a neighbour.

In June, he temporarily quit the Liberal Democrat party whip while he faces the claims, but he still holds his council cabinet position of head of planning, regeneration and economic development.

Cllr Donna Jones, chair of Portsmouth City Council's governance and audit and standards consideration sub-committee, said:

"The sub-committee has reviewed the report into Cllr Hancock.

"The report concludes that there was a failure to observe the council's code of conduct. The sub-committee therefore decided the matter will go to a hearing before the governance and audit and standards hearings sub-committee in a few weeks.

"At this hearing, Cllr Hancock and/or his legal advisors will have the opportunity to respond to the report, and question witnesses and the report's author, Nigel Pascoe QC.

"The hearings sub-committee will then make a final decision.

"It would not be appropriate to make a decision on publication of the report until the process is concluded."

Mr Hancock was arrested by police over the allegations in 2010 but no action was taken as the Crown Prosecution Service said there was insufficient evidence for a prosecution.

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