07/02/2014 09:57 GMT | Updated 07/02/2014 09:59 GMT

Mike Hancock, Ex-Lib Dem MP Accused Of Sexual Misconduct, Is Hospitalised

Chris Ison/PA Wire
File photo dated 2/2/2011 of Mike Hancock. Liberal Democrat councillors have allowed the MP accused of "appalling" sexual allegations to retain a powerful position on his local council amid internal party clashes over the handling of the case.

Mike Hancock, the former Lib Dem MP under fire for alleged sexual misconduct, has been admitted to hospital.

The Portsmouth South MP has a history of poor health and underwent heart surgery in 2012, although a statement on his official website did not give the reason for his latest hospital admission.

The statement said: "Mike has been in hospital since the end of last week and will remain so until at least the end of next week. His offices in London and Portsmouth remain open as usual."

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 recently stepped down from the ruling cabinet of Portsmouth City Council.

He resigned the parliamentary party whip last year, but was still sitting as a Lib Dem 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 Hancock could retain his responsibility for regeneration and economic development while sitting as an independent councillor.