DEMONSTRATORS gathered outside a health centre to show their anger at public sector cutbacks.
More than 30 protesters including university staff, civil servants and pensioners braved the grim weather to show their disapproval at the government’s pension changes.
And there were harsh words for Health Secretary Andrew Lansley, who had been due to open the new St Mary’s Community Health Campus but cancelled the trip.
Kathryn Rimmington, a lecturer at the University of Portsmouth said: ‘The reason he hasn’t come is cowardice. He knows what to expect.’
Shelagh Simmons, 58, of Southsea, wanted to show her support for public sector workers.
‘We need to defend the NHS. It’s a precious part of our society,’ she said.
June Clarkson, secretary of the Portsmouth Pensioners Society, is furious at the governments ‘granny tax’ and cuts to the NHS.
Ms Clarkson, 78, said: ‘It shows which side of the population the government is really on.
‘We are disposable for them.’
A spokesman for the Department of Health said that Mr Lansley hopes to visit Portsmouth soon.
But Ms Clarkson issued a warning to the government minister.
‘If he does decide to come back, we will be here waiting for him,’ she said.