MP Mike Hancock faces sexual assault allegations at conduct hearing

Portsmouth South MP resigned the Liberal Democrat party whip in June to fight a High Court civil action

An MP faces a local council standards hearing after an investigation found he had breached its code of conduct.

Mike Hancock resigned the Liberal Democrat party whip in June to fight a High Court civil action by a "vulnerable" constituent who accuses him of sexual assault after she contacted him for help.

The Portsmouth South MP - who is also a councillor in the south coast city - firmly denies the claims.

He will now appear before a standards sub-committee of the local authority after a council-commissioned report by Nigel Pascoe QC concluded there was a case to answer.

"Cllr Hancock and/or his legal advisers will have the opportunity to respond to the report, and question witnesses and the report's author," Donna Jones, the chair of the sub-committee that reviewed the report said.

"The hearings sub-committee will then make a final decision.

"It would not be appropriate to make a decision on publication of the report until the process is concluded."

PA