Sunday, May 20, 2018

Mike Hancock fails to assist European inquiry into his conduct

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From the Portsmouth paper The News:
Former Portsmouth MP Mike Hancock faces censure after not taking part in a vote-rigging corruption inquiry. 
The former Portsmouth South representative, who was resigned from the Lib Dems, faces losing his ‘honorary associate’ title at the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (Pace).
He also faces being denied access to its buildings.
That's an odd way of putting it: "was resigned from the Lib Dems".

What happened is spelt out in this 2014 BBC News report:
Liberal Democrat Mike Hancock has resigned from the party, officials have confirmed. 
The Portsmouth South MP, who had faced allegations he sexually assaulted a constituent, handed in his resignation earlier in the week. 
The news was only revealed in answers to questions posed by the Independent newspaper on Thursday. 
In June, Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg told the BBC Mr Hancock had "no future" in the party and he would be expelled. 
Mr Hancock had already had the whip removed and is expected to remain in the Commons as an independent.
Hancock fought Portsmouth South as an independent at the 2015 general election but received only 716 votes.

The News report does not make it entirely clear, but it seems the inquiry has been instigated by the Council of Europe:
An independent investigation was set up to look into allegations of paid-for favourable votes for Azerbaijan’s government at Pace. 
The report said another investigation had said others and Mr Hancock ‘had been seen as friends and frequent guests of (the Azerbaijan capital) Baku’ and had ‘defended’ the autocratic country’s record. 
It found Mr Hancock was among the most ‘prominent apologists for Azerbaijan’. 
Mr Hancock was investigated in the report for speaking to journalists outside a polling station before the election had finished.
According to The News, Hancock says he chose not to get involved with the inquiry because of poor health.

I blogged about Hancock's record of support for Putin's Russia and Azerbaijan twice in early 2014:
There you will find details of his extraordinary actions and opinions, right down to denial of the Armenian Genocide, and of his habit of employing beautiful young Russian women as assistants.

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