'Disappointment' as Tory candidate unable to attend climate change hustings

A CLIMATE change campaign group has voiced its 'disappointment' as its first ever green-centric hustings event will not be attended by the city's Tory candidate.

Friday, 6th December 2019, 4:04 pm
Updated Saturday, 7th December 2019, 9:23 am

Election hopefuls Stephen Morgan, of the Labour Party, and Gerald Vernon-Jackson, for the Lib Dems, have confirmed they will attend Saturday's Portsmouth South climate change hustings organised by the Portsmouth Climate Alliance.

However, Conservative nominee Donna Jones declined an invitation due to other commitments.

The event, which will be held at the Priory School in Southsea tomorrow afternoon (Saturday, December 7), will give candidates the chance to pitch their plans for a greener future as well as answer climate change specific questions from audience members.

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Climate change protestors in Guildhall Square earlier this year. Picture: Habibur Rahman

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Mrs Jones said: 'Sadly I have had a big event planned for the last Saturday before election day for over a month which involves a number of people and has prevented me from being able to attend the hustings.

'I am passionate about tackling climate change, and supporting green issues not just here in the UK but around the world.

'If elected I am committed to making Portsmouth the greenest city in the UK and look forward to working with people passionate about tackling climate issues.'

So far almost all of the 200 free tickets for the event have been taken.

One of the event's organisers, Nick Sebley, said: 'It is a disappointment. She was leader of the council from 2014 to 2018 and this is an issue that's so important. It's about air pollution, bus services, housebuilding and cars and so much more.

'Really this election should be a climate change election.'

The event will take place from 2pm until 4pm. Tickets are still available on Eventbrite.

John Kennedy for the Brexit Party and Steven George for the Justice and Anti-Corruption Party are also running for the Portsmouth South seat.