Former Lib Dem leader Paddy Ashdown joins election campaign trail in Portsmouth South

Members of Havant cemetery group invite MP to work with them

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POLITICAL heavyweight Paddy Ashdown joined a would-be MP on the campaign trail.

Former Liberal Democrat leader Mr Ashdown, pictured, visited Portsmouth yesterday to support the Portsmouth South Lib Dem candidate Gerald Vernon­-Jackson.

Gerald Vernon Jackson (left) and Paddy Ashdown

Gerald Vernon Jackson (left) and Paddy Ashdown

Mr Ashdown said: ‘Mr Vernon-Jackson is an outstanding candidate who’s made a commitment to this city over many years.

‘His record shows that if he can do this much when he isn’t an MP, imagine how much more he can do for the people of Portsmouth when he is.’

Mr Ashdown spoke as the pair visited Agamemnon Housing Association residents, in Sirius Court, Southsea, and said although he had confidence in Mr Vernon-Jackson it would be complacent of him to try to predict the outcome of the election.

He added: ‘The Conservatives will cut public expenditure, they’ll dump the burden of deficit reduction on the backs of the poor and there will be huge cuts to our public services. They will make cuts to our armed forces too’.