CONTROVERSIAL Andover councillor Tony Hooke has claimed he is being “victimised” by the police after being arrested this week over an alleged assault.
The UKIP councillor, who represents Andover on Hampshire County Council, was led away from his business premises – Broadway Garage, in Andover – by two detectives in connection with an incident at a UKIP meeting in Portsmouth last month.
He was released on bail after seven hours without charge, but told the Advertiser he believes Hampshire Police are “out of control”.
Denying any wrongdoing, he claimed the police were retaliating over his recent call for Hampshire Chief Constable Andy Marsh to be suspended.
Speaking after his release, Cllr Hooke, 52, said: “It was appalling as this is victimisation and clearly an abuse of power in retaliation for me calling for the suspension of the chief constable.”
The arrest came on Wednesday, just two weeks after Cllr Hooke made front page news by demanding Mr Marsh’s resignation while claims he had ordered a whitewash into sex abuse allegations at Stanbridge Earls School, near Romsey, were investigated.
Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Hayes later revealed he had been told there were no grounds to serve misconduct notices on Mr Marsh. Mr Hayes added: “His leadership of Hampshire Constabulary is not in question.”
In a statement issued after Cllr Hooke’s arrest, a police spokeswoman said the councillor was questioned by detectives following an incident at Portsmouth Guildhall on April 28. The meeting in question was being addressed by UKIP leader Nigel Farage.
Cllr Hooke said: “I know nothing of any assault and have never assaulted anyone. I can only assume there has been some complaint, but believe it is connected to my call to have the chief constable suspended.
“I think Hampshire Constabulary is out of control.”