Campaigners say Illustrious must be kept in Portsmouth

HMS Illustrious  Picture : Melanie Leininger
HMS Illustrious Picture : Melanie Leininger
HMS Illustrious leaves Portsmouth for the last time
Picture: Shaun Roster

RETRO: Watch the last voyage of HMS Illustrious from Portsmouth

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WE must keep HMS Illustrious in Portsmouth.

That’s the message from a group set up to campaign for the Invincible-class ship to be kept at the Historic Dockyard.

Andy Spreadbury, from the fledgling HMS Illustrious Heritage Group, said: ‘It’s been set up to raise awareness about the ship’s future.

‘She’s come out of service and is the last of her tribe.

‘I’ve seen her two sisters going to the scrapyard – there’s no way I want to see her go the same way.’

As reported on Wednesday, Lusty came back into the city for the last time before she is due to be decommissioned.

It is not yet clear what will happen to her.

Mr Spreadbury, from Southampton, added: ‘She’s one of the last ships afloat that took part in the Falklands campaign. ‘She’s a pride of British engineering – she’s a Pompey ship.’

The News online poll has shown a big majority against the decision to axe HMS Illustrious now.

Of the 733 visitors who cast their vote at portsmouth.co.uk 85 per cent said they disapproved of the government’s decision, with 15 per cent saying they agreed.