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Hancock quits council cabinet

Under-fire MP Mike Hancock has stepped down from the ruling cabinet of Portsmouth City Council.

Mr Hancock was suspended from the Liberal Democrat party last month after the leak of a QC's report into allegations - which he denies - of inappropriate behaviour towards a constituent with mental health issues.

He resigned the parliamentary party whip last year, but was still sitting as a Lib D em councillor until the local group ruled that his suspension meant it must strip him of the party banner.

The announcement of his resignation from the council cabinet came hours before a meeting at which local Lib Dems were expected to decide whether Mr Hancock could retain his responsibility for regeneration and economic development while sitting as an independent councillor.

David Williams, chief executive of Portsmouth City Council, said: "We understand that councillor Mike Hancock has resigned from the cabinet of Portsmouth City Council. The Liberal Democrat group will be selecting a successor for the planning, regeneration and economic development portfolio.

"Mike Hancock continues to be a Portsmouth City Council councillor."

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