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Photographer punched in the face while doorstepping Liberal Democrat MP Mike Hancock’s home

By Darren Boyle

A journalist was punched in the face this morning as he tried to doorstep Liberal Democrat MP Mike Hancock.

Police arrested a 37-year-old man following the incident at the MP’s home on Rockingham Way, Fareham in Hampshire.

A spokesperson for Hampshire Police said: "A reporter received an injury to his nose during the incident.

"Police officers attended and are conducting an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident.

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"A 37-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of assault, and is being taken into custody where he will be interviewed by officers today."

The Portsmouth South MP has been suspended by his party after a report found “compelling” evidence of “serious and unwelcome sexual behaviour” to a female constituent.

A copy of the report was leaked to the Order-Order blog.

Portsmouth City council engaged Nigel Pascoe QC to conduct an investigation into the complaint against Hancock.

Pascoe concluded: "I consider that the prima facie evidence of his unwelcome sexual approaches remains unquestionably a very serious matter in the light of the position which he holds and his knowledge from the beginning of the vulnerability of (the complainant).

"No one in public life should allow themselves to act in such an irresponsible and damaging way."

Pascoe completed his report last August but Portsmouth City council decided against publishing its findings until any court proceedings have concluded.

A spokesperson for the party said: "The Liberal Democrats have this afternoon, for the first time, had sight of a Portsmouth City Council report by Nigel Pascoe QC into allegations of sexual impropriety by Mike Hancock.

"Given Nigel Pascoe QC's conclusions in his report, we have immediately suspended Mike Hancock's membership of the party."

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