Tag Archives: mike hancock

Mike Hancock to stand as Independent candidate in Portsmouth South.

The BBC reports that Mike Hancock has announced that he is to stand as an independent candidate in Portsmouth South. Hancock  had the whip withdrawn last year after apologising for inappropriate conduct towards a constituent.

He told BBC News: “I’m going to stand for sure, I’ve made this decision because my health is so much better and I think I owe it to a lot of people who have supported me.

“Once you’ve been an MP for as long as I have it’s hard to just walk away.

“I think if enough people realise that I’m like everyone, I’m a fallible human being who made a mistake but paid a very high price for it… I think I could .”

He will go head-to-head with his former party colleague Gerald Vernon-Jackson who will be standing for the Liberal Democrats.

But Mr Hancock said he felt he “did not owe anything” to his old party and was not concerned about taking their votes.

You have to wonder if the rules on resettlement allowances were a factor in his decision. MPs who lose their seats are entitled to a payment of up to six months salary. The qualifications are thus:

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++ Mike Hancock MP quits Lib Dems

mike hancockMike 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

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++Breaking: Mike Hancock apologises for “inappropriate and unprofessional” conduct

Mike HancockPortsmouth South MP Mike Hancock, whose membership of the Liberal Democrats has been suspended because of allegations concerning his behaviour towards a constituent, has this afternoon made a public apology for his behaviour.

From the BBC:

MP Mike Hancock has made a public apology over “inappropriate and unprofessional friendship” with a constituent.

Civil action against Mr Hancock, alleging he sexually assaulted a female constituent, was dropped earlier this month.

A statement said both parties had settled the claim on confidential terms.

Hancock said in the statement:

In October 2009 you first came to me

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Local Elections: Overnight results roundup (Updated)

Election countThere’s a long way to go, but so far it’s been a mixed night for the Liberal Democrats. Here are the headlines:

UKIP wipeout in Eastleigh

We were told that UKIP were going to make gains in Eastleigh and it was one of the results that worried me the most. In fact, we held our own and UKIP’s tactic of putting up a Mr House against leader Keith House didn’t pay off at all.

Lib Dems lose control of Portsmouth

With a loss of 6 seats, the Liberal Democrats remain the largest party on …

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Mike Hancock resigns from Lib Dem cabinet on Portsmouth City Council

Three new developments today in Portsmouth as the local Lib Dem party and city council group work out how to deal with the allegations of sexual assault against Mike Hancock, which he denies.

Twelve days ago, Hancock, who had already stood down from the party whip at Westminster, was suspended by the national Lib Dems, making him ineligible to be re-selected as Portsmouth South’s MP. However, he controversially retained his post in the Lib Dem-run cabinet as an independent councillor, apparently on a tied 10-10 vote among the city council group. This prompted the resignation of Eleanor

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Portsmouth Lib Dems seek new candidate while MP Mike Hancock suspended by party

We reported last Friday the news that Mike Hancock, the MP for Portsmouth South who resigned the Lib Dem whip last year to contest allegations of sexual assault against him, had won the backing of Portsmouth Lib Dems.

However, the local party has since confirmed it will be pushing ahead with selecting a candidate for the 2015 election. With Mike Hancock currently suspended by the national party, he will be unable to put himself forward for re-selection. In short, he has been de-selected as a Lib Dem MP (unless his suspension is lifted).

Local party chair Simon Dodds …

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Mike Hancock: Portsmouth Lib Dems issue statement

We reported on Wednesday that the Lib Dems had suspended Mike Hancock’s party membership following the leaking of a report commissioned by Portsmouth City Council into allegations of sexual assault against the MP who is a also a councillor.

Tonight Portsmouth Liberal Democrats have issued this statement:

We have today been made aware that Liberal Democrat HQ has received a complaint about Mike Hancock and has, pending investigation of that report, suspended Mike Hancock’s membership of the party.

There is an ongoing civil court case on the issues raised in the complaints to Portsmouth City Council and to the Lib

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QC’s report into allegations against Mike Hancock MP made public

We’ve reported before on the allegations of sexual assault against Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock – Mike temporarily stood down from the Lib Dem whip last June and denies any wrong-doing. He has continued to serve as a Lib Dem councillor in Portsmouth and is the city’s cabinet member for planning, regeneration and economic redevelopment.

Last night, Lib Dem-run Portsmouth City Council voted not to publish the report – we understand on the advice of the Council’s solicitor – commissioned by the Council to investigate whether Mike Hancock had breached its code of conduct. In November, the Council’s standards …

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BBC: “Mike Hancock MP will not face charges over sex assault”

Mike HancockBBC News reports:

Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock will face no further police action in relation to alleged sexual assault claims.

A Hampshire Police statement said it had discussed the case with the Crown Prosecution Service and would not be taking any further action.

Mr Hancock, who is also a councillor, had strongly denied the allegations.

An independent report released in September found he failed to observe the council’s code of conduct.

Hampshire Police said it had informed those affected by the decision.

Mr Hancock said: “I’m personally delighted and pleased they have come to

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LibLink: Charlotte Henry – How can the Liberal Democrats cure its ‘woman problem’?

Over at the Telegraph, Lib Dem blogger and former London Assembly candidate Charlotte Henry takes a look at the Lib Dems’ ‘woman problem’ in the light of the recent publicity concerning allegations against Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock and former party chief executive Lord (Chris) Rennard. Here’s an excerpt:

The Lib Dems need to get more women elected at every single level, of that there is no doubt. It is galling to still walk into party meetings with barely any women, or to still see male dominated panels at party conference. … All that said, it should be noted that the

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Mike Hancock temporarily withdraws from Liberal Democrat whip

From ITV:

In a statement released through the party Liberal Democrat MP Mike Hancock has said he is withdrawing from the party whip:

Following our meeting today I have decided to offer to temporarily withdraw from the parliamentary party in the Commons until the civil court case against me has been concluded.

I can assure you that I will continue to vigorously defend my position and that I completely refute the allegations made against me.

I’m doing this in the best interests of the party nationally and in Portsmouth and for my family.

I will continue to work hard for my constituents in

Posted in News | 19 Comments

Liberal Democrat MPs fight for blind people hit by welfare changes

The Independent reports that Liberal Democrat MPs are trying to change the new assessment process for the Personal Independence Payments  which will replace Disability Living Allowance. They believe that they may lead to blind people being denied the help that they need. This is a measure introduced by the Welfare Reform Act. The MPs are concerned that the new assessment process focuses on mobility  and does not sufficiently take into account the ways in which being blind or partially sighted can affect everyday life.

People who have sight loss need the extra help to, for example, help with cleaning, ironing …

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Humiliation for MI5 as former boss rules its claims are unfounded

Not surprisingly, it is the Mike Hancock connection which has got the headlines in the deportation case of Katia Zatuliveter. However, yesterday’s decision by an immigration tribunal to let her stay in the country is a humiliation for MI5.

It had confidently asserted that she was a spy and should be deported. It is not only that the Immigration Appeals Tribunal rejected MI5’s claims, but one of its three members hearing the case was Stephen Lander, himself the former boss of MI5. He and his colleagues concluded that she was not employed by the Russian secret service and that all …

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In other news…

On the NHS:

Liberal Democrats may win a key concession on the controversial Health and Social Bill before the legislation is passed, PoliticsHome has learned.

Sources have indicated that the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, including key rebel Baroness Williams, have struck a deal which would allow Lib Dem peers currently opposed to the legislation to secure changes to the role of the Health Secretary. They are currently concerned that the Bill will mean the Secretary of State is not responsible for ensuring that patients across the country receive the same services and standards of care.

PoliticsHome understands that the responsibility of the Health

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Mike Hancock welcomes Ugandan gay deportation case deferral

Richard Flowers reported here on Lib Dem Voice last week Lib Dem MP Mike Hancock’s grave concerns for a Portsmouth constituent facing deportation back to Uganda — Robert Segwanyi is gay, and argues he was imprisoned and tortured in his home country, where homosexuality is illegal. (Michael Andrewes, Mr Hancock’s constituency researcher offered further background in the Voice’s comments thread here.)

For those who supported Mr Hancock’s campaign on behalf of Mr Segwanyi there is some welcome news courtesy of the BBC website:

‘Gay’ Ugandan asylum seeker’s deportation deferred

A Ugandan man living in Portsmouth who says he will be

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Opinion: Mike Hancock has grave concerns for a gay constituent facing deportation to Uganda

Robert Segwanyi is a gay man from Uganda. Homosexuality is illegal in Uganda, and Robert was imprisoned and, he says, tortured because he is gay.

In June last year, he escaped and fled to Britain.

Now the UK Border Agency want to send him back.

UKBA does not accept he is gay and a judge rejected his appeal claiming that there is no risk to gay people in Uganda.

This is what Amnesty International said about Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Laws:

Both the current law and the proposed new law violate a number of human rights including the rights to equality and non-discrimination, privacy, liberty and

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Mike Hancock wins courts case over paedophile allegation

The BBC reports:

A rival who falsely claimed a Liberal Democrat MP was a paedophile has been convicted of attempting to affect a result in the general election.

Les Cummings, 66, made the false statement about Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock.

Mr Hancock had strenuously denied the allegations made in an election leaflet pamphlet.

Cummings, who stood for the Justice and Anti-Corruption Party, was fined £500 at Southampton Magistrates’ Court.

He had falsely written on the flyer: “Mike Hancock is a paedophile.”

It then showed a picture of Mr Hancock with children and the words: “Would you let him get this close to your children?”

This …

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Mike Hancock MP “horrified” by paedophile slur leaflet

The BBC reports from Southampton Magistrates Court:

A Liberal Democrat MP has described allegations he was a paedophile as “absolutely untrue and offensive”.

Mike Hancock told Southampton Magistrates’ Court he was “horrified” by a leaflet published during last year’s general election.

The court heard Les Cummings, who was standing against the MP, had written: “Mike Hancock is a paedophile”.

He denies making a false statement with the purpose of affecting the result of the election in Portsmouth South.

Mr Cummings, 66, from Portsmouth, is accused of publishing the leaflet last April, while he was standing against Mr Hancock as an independent for the Justice

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Mike Hancock: police drop investigation over allegations

A news release from Mike Hancock MP says:

MP welcomes dropping of police action over allegations against him

Hampshire Police have today confirmed that after consultation with the Criminal Prosecution Service (CPS) that they are dropping any further action against Mike Hancock MP (Lib Dem – Portsmouth South) over allegations made against him in August.

Mike Hancock said: “I have always maintained my innocence over this. I have co-operated fully with police at all times and at all times vigorously contested these allegations. They have now been fully investigated and I am obviously pleased that the CPS and Police have concluded that there …

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Opinion: more than just a pretty face

We’re used to seeing the media discuss women in terms of their attractiveness, no more so than when those women are in politics. And ordinarily the subjects of this interest are firmly on the politicians. Has Ann Wideombe lost weight since she entered Strictly Come Dancing? Is Caroline Flint too sexy? I could go on and on. But now the media have a new subject, (you can almost hear their excited cheers) the women behind the scenes. The focus has shifted to researchers.

Since allegations about Mike Hancock’s researcher arose in the Sunday Times (and previously in the summer recess) the …

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Hancock denies member of staff is a Russian spy

From the BBC:

A Liberal Democrat MP has denied that his Russian-born parliamentary aide is a spy.

However Mike Hancock, who is a member of the Commons Defence Select Committee, has confirmed his assistant has been arrested and is now fighting deportation.

According to the Sunday Times, Katia Zatuliveter, 25, was detained on the orders of MI5 over espionage claims.

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Another election candidate faces court over alleged false statements

A defeated candidate from the May 2010 general election is facing court action following claims he made false statements during the election. The Portsmouth News reports:

Les Cummings, who stood as the city’s Justice and Anti-Corruption Party will appear at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court on Friday, charged with breaching the Representation of the People Act.

Police at Fareham Police Station charged Mr Cummings on Thursday afternoon, with having made, on April 22, before an election, for the purpose of affecting candidate Mike Hancock, false statements that he knew to be untrue.

Meanwhile in other election law news, Nick Clegg has rejected calls from …

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Mike Hancock arrested on suspicion of indecent assault

Reuters is reporting that Mike Hancock, Lib Dem MP for Portsmouth South, has been arrested on suspicion of indecent assault. Hancock, who is also a local councillor, has been released on police bail until 10th January.

As we reported earlier today, in a statement on his website yesterday, Hancock said

I can confirm that I was questioned on Tuesday 12 October by officers of the Hampshire Police in relation to allegations made against me by one individual. I attended the police station voluntarily, cooperated fully and answered all questions that were asked.

Normal processes now have to be

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Mike Hancock MP’s personal statement about police questioning

Mike Hancock MP has published a statement on his website, confirming that he was voluntarily questioned by police yesterday, following allegations made last month by one of his constituents.

The statement in full:

I can confirm that I was questioned on Tuesday 12 October by officers of the Hampshire Police in relation to allegations made against me by one individual. I attended the police station voluntarily, cooperated fully and answered all questions that were asked.

Normal processes now have to be followed by the police, which I entirely understand.

In the circumstances, and in accordance with legal advice,

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Police yet to contact Mike Hancock following newspaper allegations

Odd story as Paul Walter recounts:

The Portsmouth News carries some more comments concerning the reports of a police “investigation” into alleged/reported allegations concerning Mike Hancock MP. I am somewhat astounded that the police have not actually contacted Mike Hancock concerning this matter, according to his spokesman. You would have thought that, with the papers bandying about words such as “police investigation” and “sex”, the police would have at least contacted the MP.

More over on his blog.

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Hancock calls on Clegg to “end dictatorship over the party by 20 Lib Dem ministers”

Never say Mike Hancock doesn’t have a sense of timing… On the morning of Nick Clegg’s leader’s speech to the party conference, Mike has delivered what might be considered a stark warning:

I would be grateful if you could confirm in your speech on Monday that you will in the future bring any fundamental policy changes to the agreement without going through the triple lock democratic arrangements of the party. Or if that is not going to be the case that you will bring forward changes to the party constitution to change the triple lock. As I say that was not the case with the VAT rise and the Academies Bill. We are, I believe above all, a democratic party relying on the work and goodwill (more than the other parties) of our volunteers, activists and councillors. This cannot be a party of a dictatorship of 20 Lib Dem ministers.

However, before Labour activists get too excited that — like, erm, Charles Kennedy — Mike might be about to defect, he makes plain his continuing loyalty to the Lib Dems, and indeed to Nick:

Let me also be clear where I am as regards Labour. If Dennis Skinner can remain a member of Labour throughout the past twenty years of new Labour, I as a founding member of the SDP with over 25 years membership of the Lib Dems can certainly remain a member of the Lib Dems.

We should remind people of the actions of new Labour and the Labour ministers who are now going around trying to be their leader did. In fact there is such amnesia amongst them that I fear they have may have had a complete lobotomy! They supported things that you and I campaigned and voted against. Attacks on the poor through the abolition of the 10p tax rate. Attacks on students introducing tuition fees. Attacks on pensioners with the miserly 75p increase in the pension. Attacks on civil liberties with ID Cards and increasing the big brother state. The decimation of the local post office network. And just the down-right mean spirited with not allowing Ghurkhas to settle here. And you are rightly to be congratulated on the campaign that you ran on this.

I know that I and my constituents will not forget these things.

And Mike goes on to acknowledge the democratic strengths of the Lib Dems:

It probably remains one of your frustrations that leading the Lib Dems is a bit like herding cats! However it remains one of the strengths of this party that we can have a proper grown up discussion.

You can read Mike’s letter (PDF) in full here on his site, or below via Scribd:

Hancock Letter to Nick Clegg

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Ten questions for conference

Doomed!It’s a fair bet that much of the media coverage of Liberal Democrat conference will be of the form ‘THEY’RE DOOMED!’, with the more subtle coverage for the more discerning journalists being ‘Are they doomed?’.

That has, after all, been the standard media fare since long before the Coalition, since before Nick Clegg became an MP, since before David Cameron became an MP, since before Tony Blair become Labour leader and since before John Major became Prime Minister. My money isn’t on the old standard formula changing this time round for …

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The developing dynamics of the Lib Dem Parliamentary Party

Just over 100 days into coalition, it’s becoming clearer how the Parliamentary Party (in the Commons) is shaping up and where dissent is likely to come from in future. As I’ve argued previously, overall the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party has been remarkably united over the last few years. (Even the ousting of Charles Kennedy was conducted with a remarkable degree of speed and agreement amongst MPs, especially when compared with the long-running leadership agonies in Labour and, pre-2005, the Conservatives.)

Coalition is putting that Lib Dem cohesion to the test in new ways and we’re starting to see who the …

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Six Lib Dem MPs rebel on Coalition’s Academies Bill

The BBC reports:

MPs have approved legislation which paves the way for a radical overhaul of the school system in England. The Academies Bill, allowing schools to opt out of local council control as early as September, is now due to receive Royal Assent on Tuesday.

However, the Bill sparked a revolt among some Lib Dem MPs, with five defying the whips to back an amendment proposed by Southport MP (and former teacher) John Pugh allowing parents to be balloted if a school governor objected it to becoming an academy.

The five Lib Dems who supported John’s amendment were Annette Brooke …

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Two Lib Dem MPs rebel over VAT

The Guardian:

The coalition faced its first rebellion last night when two Liberal Democrat MPs voted against a budget proposal to increase VAT to 20%.

Bob Russell and Mike Hancock voted with Labour to oppose the increase, which has alarmed many Lib Dems who warned during the election of a Tory VAT “bombshell”.

To shouts of “shame” from the Labour benches, the 2.5% increase in VAT from January was backed by 346 to 270, majority 76. Russell, MP for Colchester, and Hancock, MP for Porstmouth South, had earlier supported a backbench Lib Dem motion demanding a Treasury investigation into the impact on the

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