U.K. Liberal Democrat Quits Over Sexual Assault Claims

A lawmaker from Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg’s Liberal Democrats resigned from the party while he challenges allegations of sexual assault.

Mike Hancock, who represents the parliamentary district of Portsmouth on the southern coast of England, said in a letter released by the party late last night that he is stepping down temporarily to defend himself against a High Court civil action against him by a female constituent.

“I can assure you that I will continue to vigorously defend my position and that I completely refute the allegations made against me,” Hancock said in the letter to the Liberal Democrats’ Chief Whip Alistair Carmichael, who is in charge of party discipline.

Clegg has faced repeated media questions about how he has dealt with the case of Hancock, who was arrested by police over the allegations in 2010. No action was taken then as prosecutors said there was insufficient evidence against him.

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