No action over Andover county councillor assault claim

Andover Advertiser: No action over Andover county councillor assault claim No action over Andover county councillor assault claim

ANDOVER County Councillor Tony Hooke, who was arrested over assault claims last month, will face no further action over the allegation.

A third party had alleged that councillor Hooke had assaulted a protestor at a UKIP meeting in Portsmouth and two detectives from the city travelled to Andover to make the arrest.

A Hampshire Constabulary spokeswoman confirmed that the 52-year-old councillor has been informed that no further action will be taken.

Following the news, cllr Hooke said: “I feel extremely aggrieved about this as the whole thing was unbelievable and degrading.

“I was held in a police cell for seven hours and had my belt and shoes taken from me and then questioned for 20 minutes when the video evidence clearly showed that my hand didn’t move and there was no assault.

“It was done because I had had a ‘pop’ at the chief constable. Why would they have sent a detective sergeant and detective constable all the way over from Portsmouth?

“What was it all for?”

Cllr Hooke announced his resignation from the UKIP party earlier this month over the allegations, claiming he did not want to bring the party into disrepute before the General Election. He now stands as an independent councillor.

He also still faces a complaint from cllr Roy Perry, leader of Hampshire County Council.

Two weeks ago cllr Perry instructed the county solicitor to investigate whether cllr Hooke was in breach of the councillors’ code of conduct over comments made about Chief Constable Andy Marsh.

Chief Constable Marsh had been under investigation for his handling of sex abuse allegations at Stanbridge Earls School near Romsey and cllr Hooke called for him to be suspended while the investigation took place.

The chief was cleared of any wrongdoing by Essex Police.

The county council was asked whether its leader’s complaint was still active following the police announcement about cllr Hooke, but the council had ‘no comment’.

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