Lib Dem crisis: Mike Hancock's son arrested after allegedly punching photographer

Hancock Snr has been suspended from the party after claim of sexual assault

The son of a Liberal Democrat MP currently contesting sex assault claims has been arrested after an incident involving a photographer outside his father's house.

Dean Hancock, 37, has been charged with assault causing actual bodily harm following an incident involving a photographer, Hampshire police said. He was released on bail and will appear at Fareham Magistrates Court on February 12.

His father, Mike Hancock, who has been an MP for 19 years, was suspended from the party on Wednesday after the fresh allegations hit. The claims come at a terrible time for the party, whose leader Nick Clegg is still trying to negotiate  way out of the Lord Rennard affair.

Lib Dem sexual harassment row: Nick Clegg says he won’t back down over Lord Rennard apology demands  

And just before 9.30am on Thursday, police were called to Mr Hancock's house following reports of an altercation between a man and members of the media.

Journalists at the scene reported the man as being Mr Hancock's son.

A Hampshire police spokesman said: “A reporter received an injury to his nose during the incident.

“Police officers attended and are conducting an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident.

“A 37-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of assault, and is being taken into custody where he will be interviewed by officers today."

Mr Hancock's suspension came after the leak of a report commissioned by Portsmouth City Council - where he sits as a councillor - into the allegations against him. The authority decided not to publish the document, or discuss its findings, until a High Court case has been settled.

But a full version of the report by Nigel Pascoe QC, containing a series of lurid allegations, was leaked to a website. The barrister described the woman’s version of events as “credible” and concluded there was evidence of “serious and unwelcome sexual behaviour” by the MP. A Liberal Democrat spokesman said the party saw the report for the first time this afternoon. He said: “Given Nigel Pascoe QC’s conclusions in his report, we have immediately suspended Mike Hancock’s membership.”

Mr Hancock denies the allegations.

His spokesman said: “These matters have twice been looked at by the police, first in 2010, and in conjunction with the CPS [Crown Prosecution Service], they have found that there is no case for Mr Hancock to answer and have taken no further action.” He said Mr Hancock had not, following legal advice, given evidence to Mr Pascoe and therefore believed his report was “likely to be one-sided”.

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Sport
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
News
i100
Sport
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
boxing
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments