Lib Dems use taxpayers’ money to suppress report into second sex harassment case

This case has been in Private Eye for the past few weeks now. Unfortunately, it’s part of a number of cases where local politicians are trying to use the law to suppress reporters and members of the public covering or criticising their meetings and activities. This case is particularly sinister, coming after the revelations about Cyril Smith, who successfully used his position as MP to avoid prosecution for his abuse of boys in care homes. And with the Lib-Dems backing the Conservative’s campaign for secret courts, this whole business bodes very ill for British open government and democracy. John Stewart Mill would be appalled.

Pride's Purge

(not satire – it’s the Lib Dems!)

Hot on the heels of allegations that Lib Dem peer Lord Rennard sexually harassed women, the Liberal Democrats are desperately trying to suppress a report into an equally damaging second sexual harassment case.

An independent report into allegations that Lib Dem MP and Portsmouth councillor Mike Hancock (he has since resigned the party’s parliamentary whip over the allegations) sexually harassed a woman constituent concluded that Hancock behaved in an “irresponsible and damaging way”.

Staying true to the Lib Dems’ claim that they are the true party of open government, the report was immediately hidden from public view and a copy which was requested by the alleged victim of Hancock’s harassment had large parts redacted by party officials.

But as if all that was bad enough, Lib Dem run Portsmouth City Council is now using local taxpayers’ money to fight a demand in a…

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