Thursday, 2 January 2014

MP Harassment Report Leaked to Media.

Hancock faces allegations made when he was acting in his local councillor role

NEW YEAR for Mike Hancock MP has got off to the worst possible start after a sensational report by Nigel Pascoe QC into his conduct was leaked to the media over Christmas, TBG can reveal.

The Portsmouth South MP is currently being sued in the High Court over claims that he sexually assaulted a vulnerable woman who came to him for help.

However, according to a copy of the report that has been leaked to The Guardian and TBG, Mr Pascoe says that there is 'no doubt' that the alleged victim provided him with "compelling prime facie evidence" about the way Hancock behaved.

The report states that Pascoe was of the 'clear view' that her account of Hancock's behaviour is both 'credible and respected'.

A Lib Dem controlled panel on Portsmouth City Council has refused to publish the report in full even though Pascoe has stated in a letter made public by Portsmouth City Council that 'there should be no further delay to the council's probe' into Hancock.

Following the leak a spokesman for Hancock told TBG - "Mike Hancock looks forward to the civil case coming to court so that he can refute the allegations made against him."

However, this hasn't stopped opposition members on the council calling for all of it to be put into the public domain.

Portsmouth North's Labour PPC John Ferrett today accused the council's procedures of being 'inconsistent'.

In another exclusive interview with TBG Mr Ferrett says - "Certain things have been made public, yet the report still remains under wraps. I have got some concerns about the consistency during this process."

This view was backed up by former Lib Dem Aiden Gray who said - "We are accountable to the people so therefore it should be right and proper that the public be allowed to see things."

Gray left the Lib Dems within a year of beating Tory Jim Fleming to the City's Cosham Ward seat in May 2012.

For the Tories, Deputy Leader Luke Stubbs said - "The longer this stays hidden, the more we're all going to assume the worst, and so out of his own self interest, Mike Hancock should join us in demanding the report's release."

However, with Hancock only last week being linked with a job swap that would see him return as leader of the council in 2015, there was little surprise at City Solicitor Michael Lawther yet again effectively coming to Hancock's defence.

A statement from Lawther today reads - "The council's procedure for dealing with complaints against councillors makes no provision foe a copy of a report to be provided to the complainant or to be published."

"We have therefore been unable to release it. We anticipate that we will be reviewing our procedure once the investigation of this complaint is over."

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