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Mike Hancock resigns from Lib Dems

3 June 2013

Lib Dem MP Mike Hancock has resigned from the party to fight ‘very serious allegations’ about his conduct. He took the decision to do so after a meeting with the chief whip. The party this evening released a statement saying:

‘Mike Hancock has chosen to resign the party whip while he defends himself against very serious allegations in a High Court civil action. Mike Hancock strenuously denies the allegations made in the civil case and intends to clear his name in court.’

In a letter to party chief whip Alistair Carmichael, Hancock wrote:

‘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 Portsmouth as I have always done.’


In his reply, Carmichael said that ‘if, at the end of your case, your name is cleared then I would fully expect to have you back in the parliamentary party to play again your role in the Commons’. The court case concerns a ‘vulnerable’ constituent who has filed papers for a civil case relating to an alleged incident in 2009.

Hancock will remain an independent MP – along with Eric Joyce and Patrick Mercer – while the case progresses. But this is one step closer to a possible by-election in Portsmouth South. James reported in March that speculation was increasing that the constituency could soon be up for grabs, and discussed that in more detail on our podcast as well, while Jonathan examined the changes of a Ukip victory in any such contest.

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  • Tory_High_Command

    Why has he resigned the whip and not his seat? And if considers himself innocent and therefore does not need to resign his seat then why has he resigned the whip? Do the LibDems expect us to forget that he is a LibDem MP?

  • Normandee

    Sensitive Spectator closes the other articles comments on Hancock after 2 comments, one of which, mine, suggests he may be being “protected” until the next GE rather than have another By-election , as is Pat Mercer. Full pay and all your pension plus perks if you stay in the HoP.

  • Austin Barry

    Blimey, Hancock resembles a skid row Santa.

    One rather suspects that he smells of stale tobacco, various body fluids and dead insects.

    Indeed, just the sort of chap LibDems would vote for as they are quite, quite mad.

  • Theodoxia

    He’s clearly guilty of not knowing the correct use of the word “refute”.

  • evad666

    Hmm, working hard for constituents I think not.

    • HookesLaw

      You are certainly pushing hard to win the semantics race

  • James Strong

    If he remains an MP working ‘hard for…constituents’ then how much time has he made available for himself to fight this case by resigning the party whip?
    If he now has significantly more time then that would imply that a lot of his time was spent doing the bidding of the whips and not a lot of time was spent on constituency matters.
    Why on earth do some people scorn politicians and keep a bag of salt nearby to help deal with their statements?

  • Lord Palmerston

    So what happens to Hancock as a Portsmouth City Councillor? He has been a part-time MP for a very long time now, splitting himself between two jobs, and doing both badly. Will he lose the Lib Dem whip on the council? Will he continue in his council cabinet post? His would-be replacement, Vernon-Jackson, suffers from association with Rennard and the general failure of the Lib Dem-run city council he leads. This is a nightmare for the Lib Dems, because the issue they are faced with in Portsmouth is not only “Hancock sleaze” – which is what national journos have concentrated on – but political failure right across the board.

  • the viceroy’s gin

    He should resign from the party to fight his very serious personal grooming distress.

  • AnotherDaveB

    “…this is one step closer to a possible by-election in Portsmouth South.”

    As I understand it, an MP is only required to resign if they are sentenced to more than one year in prison.

    As Mr Hancock faces a civil, rather than a criminal case, it is not possible that he will be jailed.

    • Andy

      Even Hancock is innocent until proved Guilty. If he is found Guilty he should resign his seat no matter what the sentence maybe.

      • AnotherDaveB

        You might think he should resign. But there is nothing to compel him.

        • Andy

          Yes, I know what the law is.

    • Normandee

      See my comment following, do you really think the coalition wants a by-election in Portsmouth or Pat Mercers seat at any time before the GE ?

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