Portsmouth parties clash over links with China and UAE

Portsmouth councillors have clashed over the city's links with international countries
Portsmouth councillors have clashed over the city's links with international countries

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  • Lib Dems accused of hypocrisy over promotion of China friendship agreement
  • Tories attack party for shooting down Portsmouth’s Spinnaker Tower sponsorship deal with airline giant Emirates
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COUNCILLORS have clashed over Portsmouth’s links with international countries.

The Tories say the Lib Dems are hypocritical as they have questioned the city’s link with Emirates given the United Arab Emirates’ human rights record, yet back a friendship deal with Zhuhai in China being forged, a country with similar problems.

They (the Lib Dems) had the cheek to promote this agreement with China which has issues with human rights.

Portsmouth Tory councillor Ken Ellcome

The Lib Dems have put forward a notice of motion at tomorrow’s full council saying they aren’t happy with the way the deal was made to give Emirates the naming rights to the Spinnaker Tower.

The agreement ensures Portsmouth City Council gets £3.5m towards public spending. The two parties had a row about the situation at the latest Tory cabinet meeting.

Tory councillor Ken Ellcome said: ‘They (the Lib Dems) had the cheek to promote this agreement with China which has issues with human rights.

‘They need to be more consistent in their criticism.’

Lib Dem leader cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson said he was disappointed at the criticism.

He said: ‘It seemed fine for Ukip and Labour councillors to question links with China, yet when the Lib Dems do that about anything it’s not.’

The meeting tomorrow takes place at Portsmouth Guildhall from 2pm.