THE PRIME Minister has been asked to step in to help protect HMS Victory.
The iconic ship - the oldest commissioned naval vessel in the world - faces a number of problems.
Its knee joints - the brackets which hold the sides of the ship to beams - are coming away from the ship's sides, in part because she is in dry-dock and so internal pressures are not being balanced by water pressure.
And rain water is also getting into the 18th century ship, causing expensive wood-rot, including in the cabin Captain Hardy used when the ship made its way to the Battle of Trafalgar. P
ortsmouth City Council's Tory group leader Councillor Steve Wemyss has written to PM David Cameron to ask for help for the stricken ship.
He wrote: 'I write to express my concerns at reports of the state of repairs on HMS Victory, the oldest serving warship in the world.
'Of course, you are probably aware of the problems, but I urge you to use your good offices to prevail upon the MoD and other government departments to make good this iconic emblem of our country's maritime power.
'I know these are financially difficult times but the political symbolism of allowing HMS Victory to fall into disrepair, I am sure, will not be lost on you.
'Would you be kind enough to meet a delegation from Portsmouth (to include the Chief Executive of the City Council, Penny Mordaunt MP, myself and my deputy, Cllr Alistair Thompson) to discuss this matter?'
City Council leader, Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson said: 'I have been in contact with the Navy and there is no danger for Victory. She will remain in Portsmouth and remain commissioned.
'It's good news that people are aware of the work she needs, but it will be done.'