'Ugly' Portsmouth chosen as alternative UK capital city by author

A LEADING author and journalist believes Portsmouth should be the UK’s new capital city.

Monday, 27th January 2020, 1:15 pm
Updated Tuesday, 28th January 2020, 8:28 pm
Peter Hitchens, writer and journalist for the Mail on Sunday.

Peter Hitchens, who is a columnist for The Mail on Sunday, said he thinks Portsmouth would make a good alternative choice to London with it quintessentially British while offering a constant reminder of our ‘seaborne heritage’.

‘I have settled on it because I love that old and often ugly city in spite of itself, and because I don’t think I know anywhere more concentratedly British,’ he wrote in the publication UnHerd.

Mr Hitchens went on to cite the sea as a key reason for him choosing Portsmouth. ‘You also see the things that have made (the sea) a safeguard rather than a threat – the lovely warships that, in a long historical procession going back centuries have slipped out of the narrow harbour entrance to maintain our naval power,’ he said.

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The city also has one of the ‘greatest monuments of our country’ in HMS Victory, Nelson’s flagship at Trafalgar, the writer added.

But the city was lauded for its literature. ‘But Portsmouth is not just guns and history. It is literature and education too. It is the birthplace of Charles Dickens and of that very different author, Olivia Manning,’ Mr Hitchens wrote.