MP in Russian spy row cleared of sexual assault charges

A LIBERAL Democrat MP who had been accused of sexually assaulting a female constituent will not face charges.

Mike Hancock, 64, who represents Portsmouth South, was arrested in October following information given to police in August.

The force said: "Hampshire Constabulary can confirm that following consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service no further action is to be taken against MP Mike Hancock in relation to allegations of sexual assault. The decision from the CPS was that there was insufficient evidence upon which to charge Mr Hancock."

A CPS spokesman said the allegations followed a series of visits Mr Hancock made to the woman's home between March and June this year, which the MP said "were made in his role as an MP and not for any personal purpose".

The spokesman added: "After thoroughly reviewing the file, we have concluded there is insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction as there is no evidence to disprove Mr Hancock's account of the nature of the visits. "

In a statement Mr Hancock said: "I have always maintained my innocence over this. I have co-operated fully with police at all times and at all times vigorously contested these allegations. They have now been fully investigated and I am obviously pleased that the CPS and police have concluded that there is absolutely no case for me to answer over them and are dropping any further action.

"I hope that this will draw a line under this for all concerned."

The decision comes after Mr Hancock's parliamentary aide Katia Zatuliveter, 25, was arrested earlier this month over claims she is a Russian spy.

She is thought to have had access to classified defence documents as Mr Hancock is a member of the Commons defence select committee. She has denied any wrongdoing.