Portsmouth City Council has been left reeling at the arrest and questioning of Mike Hancock for indecent assault. Inter-party email exchanges through the night have left the LibDems spinning “move along people, nothing to see here”. The grandly named Gerald Vernon-Jackson, the LibDem Council Leader said in the early hours:
“When I knock on doors in Portsmouth I find someone on almost every street who tells me how Mike Hancock has help make their lives better. Mike is by far the best MP this city has had for many years. I continue to think that Mike should continue to be allowed to continue his work for local people.”
Perhaps not the wisest choice of words. It was his attempts “to make their lives better” that got Hancock into this mess in the first place.
UPDATE: Surprisingly LibDemVoice fail to omit the key detail that Hancock was arrested and bailed. Compare and contrast the two statements. Firstly from Hancock:
“I can confirm that I was questioned on Tuesday 12 October by officers of the Hampshire Police in relation to allegations made against me by one individual. I attended the police station voluntarily, cooperated fully and answered all questions that were asked. ”
And the law:
“Hampshire Constabulary spokesman Ian Sainsbury said in a statement: ‘A man has been arrested on suspicion of indecent assault following a complaint from a woman in Portsmouth.”
The Guardian, PA and the Telegraph also buy Hancock’s voluntary questioning spin hook, line and sinker. They may not have kicked the veteran Member’s door down but he was certainly nicked.