Report On Portsmouth MP Mike Hancock Sent To Police
1 October 2013, 17:15
A council report into misconduct by MP Mike Hancock has been handed to police - raising the prospect that the politician could face charges over an alleged indecent assault on a constituent.
Portsmouth City Council said it was now up to the Hampshire force to determine if there is new evidence in the report and whether it should be passed to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
Mr Hancock, who is the MP for Portsmouth South in addition to being a city councillor, has always strongly denied the allegations relating to a "vulnerable'' woman constituent.
But he faces a standards hearing after the report released last month concluded that he failed to observe the council's code of conduct.
The 67-year-old politician temporarily stood down from the parliamentary Liberal Democrat party in June to fight a High Court civil dispute about similar matters from the same woman.
Mr Hancock has never been charged with any offence after the CPS decided not to prosecute following his arrest on suspicion of indecent assault in 2010.
Council chief executive David Williams said in a statement:
"Today, the report by Nigel Pascoe QC, produced as part of the council's code-of-conduct investigation regarding Councillor Hancock, was given to the police at their request.
"It is for the police to determine whether there is anything material in the report which they consider should be referred on to the Crown Prosecution Service.
"There is no role for the council in this process.
"The next step in the council's investigation is for the governance and audit and standards hearings sub-committee to hold a hearing. This will be on November 15.''
Mr Hancock's Labour and Conservative opponents in Portsmouth had earlier called for the report to be handed over.
But Liberal Democrats on the council have accused the other parties of political point-scoring.
In a statement from his office last month, Mr Hancock said:
"The police investigated matters from the complainant thoroughly and they found that there was no case to answer.
"Similar matters by the same complainant are subject to a civil dispute which (Mr Hancock) is rigorously defending.''
It is not clear whether the politician will be issuing another statement in the light of the latest development.