Hampshire & Isle of Wight

MP Mike Hancock conduct report requested by police

Mike Hancock
Image caption Mike Hancock was arrested in 2010 on suspicion of sexual assault, but never charged

A report into the conduct of MP and councillor Mike Hancock has been handed to Hampshire police at their request, according to Portsmouth City Council.

Council chief executive David Williams said it was now up to police to determine if it should be passed to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Mr Hancock is accused of sexual assault but denies the allegations.

The independent report released earlier this month found he failed to observe the council's code of conduct.

Not charged

Mr Williams said: "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."

Earlier City Labour leader John Ferrett and deputy Conservative leader Luke Stubbs called for the report to be handed to the CPS for it to decide whether Mr Hancock has a criminal case to answer.

The Portsmouth South MP was arrested in 2010 on suspicion of sexual assault, but has not been charged with any offence.

In a letter to Mr Williams, Conservative and Labour members said Mr Pascoe's report into the allegations against Mr Hancock "may amount to significant new evidence".

'Political points'

Mr Ferrett said: "I find it astonishing Councillor Hancock continues to remain as a member of the city council's cabinet now that the QC's investigation states there is a case to answer on allegations of bullying, failing to treat a person with respect, breaching statutory equality duties and bringing the authority into disrepute."

Gerald Vernon-Jackson, council leader and leader of the Liberal Democrat group, defended Mr Hancock's position and told BBC Radio Solent he supports him remaining as a paid councillor.

Mr Hancock said he felt the call from Labour and Conservative councillors was an attempt to score "political points".

He said: "It's my political opponents, who for most of my life have spent endless energy trying to do me damage.

"The CPS had a full report from the police three years ago and they decided to take no further action. I don't know what Mr Pascoe has found that the police didn't."

Mr Hancock, who temporarily stood down from the parliamentary Liberal Democrat party in June, is currently involved in a civil dispute about sexual assault allegations made by a female constituent.

The next step in the council's investigation will be a hearing by the governance and audit and standards hearings sub-committee on 15 November, Mr Williams said.

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