Nigel Farage visits Portsmouth as part of GB News tour with guests Jim Davidson and Pompey super-fan John Westwood

NIGEL Farage hosted his TV show from a Portsmouth club last night, with the police commissioner for Hampshire, Pompey super-fan John Westwood, and comedian Jim Davidson joining him.

The former Ukip and Brexit Party boss made an appearance in The Rifle Club in Goldsmith Avenue as part of his hour-long ‘Farage at Large’ show on GB News.

The politician-turned-TV host told The News that it was the ‘right time’ to visit the city given the upcoming commemorations for the 40th anniversary of the Falklands War – and the ‘terrible’ problems that the city faces.

Mr Farage said: ‘I particularly wanted to come to Portsmouth this month, because we are 40 years on from the Falklands War, and we have a Falklands veteran who sailed back into Portsmouth, after that conflict, coming on the show.

Pictured: Nigel Farage with John Westwood at the Rifle Club Picture: Habibur Rahman

‘There's something about this place – England's greatness was based really on Henry VIII’s decision that we had a naval future, and the epicentre of all of that was Portsmouth.

‘So it was the right time to come to Portsmouth, and obviously, we'll talk about the history of Portsmouth, and the greatness of Portsmouth, but equally, we'll talk about the downsides of Portsmouth.’

The News has been extensively covering Falklands conflict commemorations in the run-up to a large Falklands veterans parade that is planned in Old Portsmouth on Sunday, June 19.

While recognising the ‘greatness’ of the city and its heritage, the former European Parliament politician added Portsmouth faced ‘terrible’ problems around crime rates and healthcare services.

Pictured: Nigel Farage at the Rifle Club Picture: Habibur Rahman

He said: ‘We keep hearing about levelling up, they all say levelling up of the north. And what about Portsmouth? You've got half the number of doctors per capita than Liverpool's got – that’s a problem. Dentistry I'm told in Portsmouth is even worse. And you know, not all crime is in London.

‘If you if you read the national press you think all crime is in London.’

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, Donna Jones, acknowledged that knife crime remained a problem and that domestic abuse had become a ‘massive issue’.

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Speaking at The Rifle Club, Ms Jones said: ‘Domestic abuse is a massive issue. It’s the single largest crime that police respond to.

‘Knife crime is a problem – we are one of the 12 police forces across the country that have a violence reduction unit, and I get a specific grant from the Home Office for that.’

Earlier this year, The News revealed how the city is facing a surge in violence offences, with 47.2 crimes per 1,000 people, compared with a rate of 32.3 across the rest of England and Wale.

Also attending the GB News broadcast was Pompey super-fan John Portsmouth Football Club Westwood, who has changed his named and had more than 60 tattoos dedicated to his beloved football club.

But Mr Westwood said his devotion was matched by many less ostentatious fans across the city.

He said: ‘It's my life, it's the lives of many people in Pompey, there are as many people as passionate about Pompey as I am, I just show it in a different way.

‘There's something about this city, it's on an island, and it's got an island mentality.

‘It gives you that mentality, it gives you that difference.’