A previously-unpublished report on allegations against British MP Mike Hancock says there is evidence of sexual abuse by the Liberal Democrat politician.
The independent report by leading barrister Nigel Pascoe QC revealed that there was evidence of sexual advances made by the Portsmouth South MP against a constituent, who had mental health issues. The MP is said to have been completely aware of the mental health background of the victim.
“I have no doubt that she [the alleged victim] has provided before me compelling prima facie evidence of serious and unwelcome sexual behaviour carried out towards her by Mr Hancock,” Pascoe wrote.
Hancock had been arrested on suspicion of sexual assault in 2010 but was later released after the Crown Prosecution Service found no evidence against him.
The report, which was conducted at the request of Portsmouth city council, condemned the “irresponsible” and “damaging” behavior by the British MP and said the matter “should have been addressed definitively a long time ago.”
The 67-year-old MP, who temporarily stepped down from the Liberal Democrats’ parliamentary whip earlier in June, is currently involved in a High Court civil dispute over the sexual assault allegation.
Hancock’s 39-year-old victim sued him in the high court after repeated requests from the Lib-Dem party officials to investigate his misdemeanor failed.
Karen Ingala Smith, the chief executive of charity Nia, which supports victims of sexual violence, said the case is a prime example of how victims’ claims against an authority can be overlooked.
“The Liberal Democrat Party, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards and the Lib Dem-led Portsmouth City Council have all chosen to ‘turn a blind eye’ to the allegations against Mike Hancock,” she said.