Mike Hancock, elected as Lib Dem MP for Portsmouth South in 2010 but suspended from the party following allegations of sexual harassment made by a constituent, has resigned from the party, according to the Independent:
(Hancock) spent almost five years denying that he had sexually harassed a vulnerable constituent until eventually he admitted in court that he had behaved in a way that made her “feel deeply uncomfortable and discriminated against”.
He was suspended from the Liberal Democrats’ parliamentary group and lost his seat on Portsmouth Council. The party has chosen another candidate to fight his parliamentary seat at next year’s election.
But he is still the MP for Portsmouth South, and until yesterday was a paid-up Liberal Democrat party member. It runs against the culture of the party to expel one of its members, but at HQ they were gearing up for a disciplinary hearing, when the resignation letter saved them the trouble.
Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Lib Dem leader of the city council for the last decade until this May, will fight the seat for the Lib Dems at the next general election.