Mike Hancock MP was finally suspended from the Lib Dems yesterday after an explosive official report into claims of sexual harassment was leaked. With an attempted cover-up (DETAILS) by local Liberal Democrats having failed, lawyers for Hancock’s alleged victim — a vulnerable woman with a history of mental health problems — have written to party chief executive demanding that party rules are applied to Hancock as they were to Lord Rennard.
The letter, which was copied to the party’s head of compliance David Allworthy and is published in full by Scrapbook below, piles pressure on Nick Clegg, ex-deputy leader Simon Hughes and chief whip Alistair Carmichael — who failed to suspend Hancock when they met with him in June:
“A meeting was then arranged on 3 June 2013 between Mike Hancock, Nick Clegg, Simon Hughes and Alistair Carmichael following which, Mr Hancock offered his temporary resignation from the parliamentary party”
Despite resigning the whip in Westminster, he was allowed to carry on as a Lib Dem councillor and candidate in Portsmouth — where his colleagues fought tooth and nail to stop the council-commissioned report into the allegations being released. Lawyers for the council are due in the High Court tomorrow afternoon, where they will argue that Hancock’s alleged victim should not be given an unredacted copy of the document. Hancock denies the claims and calls the report “one-sided”.
This letter is at least the fifth time that the victim or her lawyers have written to the Lib Dems. As Scrapbook observed last week, the parallels with the Rennard case are chilling. Ironically enough Lib Dem HQ were paid a visit yesterday by the author of an internal report into, errr, the failure to properly investigate allegations of sexual harassment:
More: Read the letter in full »
Parliament’s biggest hypocrite Simon Hughes has decided to get on his high horse about the diversity of the legal profession, telling the Indy in his first interview as a justice minister that legal firms should:
“proactively go out and look for people from all communities in Britain to be lawyers”
“We still have a legal profession which is significantly dominated by white, middle-aged men … There are almost no women at the top end of the judicial system and very little ethnic diversity throughout the judicial system.”
“Very little ethnic diversity” is probably better than no ethnic diversity whatsoever, a notion made flesh in the, errrr, Lib Dem parliamentary party. Their complement of zero black and Asian MPs is complemented by just seven females — even the Tories have double that proportion of women.
Having presided over a failure to implement meaningful party reform on diversity while the party’s president and deputy leader, m’learned friends might reasonably respond that Hughes should have got his own house in order first.
There are actually as many ‘Sirs’ on the Lib Dem benches as women.
Years of lies and hypocrisy during coalition rule have left Simon Hughes a social democratic husk — and an ideal candidate to join the government! Here’s a run-down of duplicity from the new minister of state for justice:
- Calling stealth privatisation in the Health Bill “unacceptable” … then voting for it at every stage
- Lying about abstaining on parliamentary votes affecting housing rights for thousands of his constituents
- Applauding gay marriage at Lib Dem conference … after abstaining during third reading citing his religious views
- Saying that the benefit cap should be dropped … after voting with the Tories for it
- Telling the Commons that councils should have planning powers to restrict betting shops … then voting against such a measure
- Claiming difficulties during the London riots “demonstrated the case against cuts” to the police … then voting to cut the police
- Calling for the NHS Risk Register to be published, then saying “governments are entitled to resist requests for information”
- And, of course, saying that he wouldn’t take a government job … and then taking one!
More Simon Hughes shenanigans are available in our full archive.
As a Scrapbook has observed before … Hughes has behaved like a man who doesn’t realise that parliamentary votes are recorded.
UPDATE: More examples from readers »
Simon Hughes’ big yellow taxi — a regular fixture on the streets of Bermondsey — has been “trashed” by students angry at his support for the privatisation of student loans book.
The liberal dusting with rubbish bags and post-it notes followed unedifying scenes in which a metal roller shutter was forced down on the heads of student activists:
At least Hughes has worked out how to park properly.
UPDATE: Hughes is currently hiding in office (PICTURED) »
As Clegg cited gay marriage in his conference speech, cheeky BBC producers cut to one Simon Hughes — who was joining in with the applause.
He abstained at the third reading citing his religious views.
Just as sure as the sun rises each morning, 2013 brings yet more hypocrisy from Simon Hughes. Even as the Lib Dems’ deputy leader attempts to defend himself from criticism that he voted for austerity while opposing the cuts that accompany it, he told Southwark News:
“It’s simplistic and wrong to say that more police equals less crime, it’s what you do with the police and how affective they are that matters.”
What kind of buffoon would promulgate such nonsense? Errr … step forward Mr Simon Hughes, who is pictured below calling for 10,000 more police:
Indeed, he has been campaigning on this basis for years. Launching his challenge for London mayor in 2004, Hughes promised to make the capital “safer” by giving every neighbourhood eight dedicated uniformed officers as part of a “minimum policing guarantee”.
In the wake of the London riots Hughes linked police numbers directly to criminality and said that he opposed cuts:
“I think what happened demonstrated the case against cuts … It seems the police could not cope until they had reinforcements”
But when the time came to vote on the 2011-12 police grant, which slashed the budget by 20%, Hughes made his opposition clear — by abstaining!
Regular readers will be more than familiar with his record of flagrant hypocrisy:
But Scrapbook’s absolute favourite has to be the time he pretended that certain parliamentary votes didn’t occur in order to preserve the fiction that he had done all within his power to defend his constituents in social housing from damaging changes to secure tenancies.
The man just can’t help himself.
The former mayor of Southwark has compared domestic violence with smacking — and refused to apologise after claiming that some see “benefits” in the crime.
Cllr Columba Blango, who is a colleague of Lib Dem deputy leader Simon Hughes and represents the ward neighbouring his house, has shocked colleagues with his views on the subject:
“It’s like smacking. Some people see the benefits of smacking. Some don’t see it.”
In remarks recorded in official council minutes and later attributed to Blango, the councillor claimed “some perpetrators might not be able to prevent themselves” from slapping their partner in “the spur of the moment.”
When a female councillor suggested he should apologise for comments made in the meeting of Southwark Council’s Education, Children’s Services and Leisure Committee, he dismissed her as being “emotional”.
Fellow Southwark councillor and sometime occupant of the BBC Sunday Politics sofa Rowenna Davis – who was in the car-crash meeting — told Scrapbook that “there’s no room for ambiguity when it comes to domestic violence”:
“I have constituents who suffer from domestic violence. The vast majority of Lib Dems would be appalled by Cllr Blango’s comments. But what does Simon Hughes think of his colleague and a supposed community leader propagating this kind of attitude?”
Perhaps the Lib Dem top brass should “encourage” Columba to apologise.
Eagle-eyed Scrapbook readers spotted naughty Simon Hughes using his mobile phone while driving this weekend. While eight out of ten motorists admit to this breach of the law, the Deputy Lib Dem leader seems determined to make things easier for the authorities — by travelling round in a vanity day-glo taxi with his name emblazoned across its flanks.
Hughesy was clocked while he was stopped at a junction on Havil Street in Southwark at around 11:20 am on Saturday:
“He pulled up at the junction and was clearly checking his phone. I managed to grab a snap before he pulled off.”
Drivers caught using their phone at the wheel — even when stopped at traffic lights — face a £60 fine and 3 points on their licence.
A couple of months ago, Hughes’ bio-fuelled eco ego wagon was spotted on the back of a tow truck — presumably after breaking down, and not because of his appalling car-park etiquette, another taxi exclusive.
Simon Hughes declined to comment.