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Labour's letter to Portsmouth Council leader over Mike Hancock

Labour's letter to Portsmouth Council leader over Mike Hancock

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Published by Political Scrapbook
Letter from Cllr John Ferrett to Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson
Letter from Cllr John Ferrett to Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson

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Published by: Political Scrapbook on Sep 19, 2013
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06/25/2014

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Councillor John Ferrett
Councillor Gerald Vernon-JacksonLeader of the City CouncilDate:18 September 2013Civic OfficesGuildhall SquarePortsmouthPO1 2ALPhone:Dear Gerald,It is with deep regret that I feel compelled to write to you again about the allegations of misconduct surrounding Councillor Mike Hancock.You will recall that I wrote to you on 4 April 2013, along with Councillor Bosher, callingupon you to suspend Councillor Hancock from his Cabinet position, whilst seriousallegations of misconduct in public office and sexual assault were being investigated.You responded on 23 April, stating that you were being asked to do ‘what you and your parties have always failed to do, which is to remove Councillor Mike Hancock from aposition of authority within the city council.’ You then went on to explain why you feltthat, despite the seriousness of the allegations, that you saw no reason to removeCouncillor Hancock from the Cabinet.With hindsight I’m sure you will agree that it was unfortunate for you to juxtapose thevery serious allegations of sexual assault against Councillor Hancock with the idea thatthey were being used as a political manoeuvre by the opposition parties. Moreover, I’msure you would agree that it would be absurd to take such a standpoint given thedecision by Councillor Hancock to resign the Liberal Democrat Party Whip, following aninvestigation into the allegations by the Chief Whip, Alistair Carmichael. Indeed, beforeCouncillor Hancock resigned the whip your Leader, Nick Clegg, indicated that internaldisciplinary measures were likely to result from Alistair Carmichael’s report.However, despite this realisation at a national level that it was not appropriate for Councillor Hancock to continue as a Liberal Democrat MP, you have chosen to take noaction locally. In other words we have the bizarre situation where when he is acting asan MP, Mike Hancock is an Independent, yet when acting as a Councillor he is aleading member of the Liberal Democrat administration in Portsmouth.I would hope that following the submission of the report by Nigel Pascoe QC, into theallegations of misconduct by Councillor Hancock, you will now take the appropriateaction and suspend him forthwith from the Cabinet.Cont/

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