Foreign secretary visits Portsmouth to talk Ukip, dog mess and childcare

Deputy leader is new county chairman

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TORY candidate Flick Drummond took her campaign to people’s doorsteps today, accompanied by top minister Philip Hammond.

The campaign trail saw a group of Tories canvas the streets of Fratton and Copnor, with secretary of state for foreign and commonwealth affairs Philip Hammond pitching in and doing his bit to boost support for the party.

He told The News: ‘Portsmouth is a key seat that we are targeting to win from the Liberal Democrats to get a Conservative majority government.

‘We are in Fratton because we are pushing into territory what might be thought of as Lib Dem territory, but that’s where we are taking votes from the Lib Dems and pushing into wards that have traditionally been Lib Dem held.

‘We are making our arguments directly to the voters who are thinking about what kind of government they want in Westminster after May 7.

‘They are considering whether they want David Cameron to lead the government or whether they are prepared to have the chaos of a government led by Ed Milliband and propped up by the SNP.’

Flick Drummond and Philip Hammond out on the campaign trail in Portsmouth today Picture: Kimberley Barber

Flick Drummond and Philip Hammond out on the campaign trail in Portsmouth today Picture: Kimberley Barber

A few hecklers took the opportunity to shout about leaflets being posted through their doors and to jeer, but in general the reception was a warm one.

Many residents took the opportunity to grill parliamentary candidate Ms Drummond on local issues - such as dog mess in the streets and on what the party would do to support struggling families.

One elderly resident told Mr Hammond abut her struggles with cuts to tax credits, while a young mum quizzed him on how much free childcare the Tories would bring in.

But the most vocal residents from the door-knocking were the people who were torn between voting Tory or Ukip.

Builder James Clifford, 35, said he was drawn to some of Ukip’s policies, such as the promise of a referendum.

However both Ms Drummond and Mr Hammond were quick to dismiss the party.

Mr Hammond said: ‘A vote for Ukip is a wasted one.’

Ms Drummond is fighting to take the seat in Portsmouth South from sitting independent MP Mike Hancock.

She faces competition from Labour’s Sue Castillon, UKIP’s Steve Harris, TUSC’s Sean Hoyle, Justice and Anti-Corruption Party’s Don Jerrard, Ian McCulloch for the Green party and Gerald Vernon-Jackson for the Lib Dems.

Elsewhere in the area, the TUSC party was out in full force all day in Cosham high street speaking to shoppers.

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