A councillor has resigned from her council cabinet position over a decision by local Liberal Democrats to allow Mike Hancock MP to keep his position of power within the local authority.
Mr Hancock was suspended from the party last week after the leaking of a QC's report into allegations - which he denies - of inappropriate behaviour towards a constituent with mental health issues.
The Portsmouth South MP had already resigned the parliamentary party whip last year, but was still sitting as a Lib Dem local councillor until the local group ruled on Friday that his suspension meant it must strip him of the party banner.
But the group, which has previously accused the party leadership of suspending Mr Hancock without due process, also made clear it had been effectively forced into the decision and allowed the MP to retain his seat on the council's cabinet.
Now Eleanor Scott has quit her position as cabinet member for environment and community safety and has accused the Lib Dem group of turning the council into a "game show".
She said: " I am of the opinion that it was not a good decision to allow Mike Hancock to remain a member of the cabinet, given the circumstances that now prevail. I'm entitled to my opinion and to act according to my views.
"I do however remain a Liberal Democrat Party member, and committed to being a councillor.
"I hope that others involved in the group's decision on Friday will reflect on their positions, and do the right thing.
"We need to run a city, not a game show.
"I also confirm that I have previously raised concerns with Liberal Democrat Party headquarters in London, in June 2013, about the culture within the Portsmouth Lib Dem group. I trust that they will concede that they need to give me, and others here, support to clean out the Augean stables. There are many good people involved with the Lib Dems in Portsmouth and they deserve a chance now to shine."
Following the decision to allow Mr Hancock to keep his position as cabinet member for planning, regeneration and economic development, the local Lib Dem group said in a statement: "Councillor Mike Hancock no longer remains a member of the Portsmouth City Council Liberal Democrat Group because, having had his membership suspended by the party at national level, it is not possible for him to remain a member of the city council group until the suspension is lifted.
"The group acknowledges that the suspension has been imposed before the issue to which suspension relates has been properly and fairly determined through due process in the courts.
"The group decided that the Independent Councillor Mike Hancock should retain his seat on the cabinet of the city council. This was decided because Councillor Hancock is best placed to fulfil the role of cabinet member for planning, regeneration and economic development."
Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg insisted last week he had taken immediate action after learning of "appalling" allegations levelled against the MP as he came in for criticism for failing to do anything in the three years after the party was notified of the complaints.
The Deputy Prime Minister, who is also facing criticism over the handling of separate sexual harassment allegations against Lord Rennard, said he had acted last year as soon as he heard that a civil case was being brought against his MP.
After a Hampshire police investigation concluded there was no case to answer, Portsmouth City Council launched an inquiry into whether Mr Hancock had breached the council's code of conduct, but that has now been put on hold pending the outcome of the civil court action.
The report, carried out by Nigel Pascoe QC for the council, found "compelling" evidence of "serious and unwelcome sexual behaviour" towards a vulnerable woman constituent. She suffered a mental health disorder and had been sexually abused as a child.
The alleged victim won a ruling at the High Court on Friday to allow her full disclosure of the report for a forthcoming civil court action against Mr Hancock - a move that was opposed by Portsmouth City Council.