THE public war of words continues between two former friends battling to win Portsmouth South at the general election.
Independent candidate Mike Hancock says one of the reasons he is defending his seat is down to the fact Gerald Vernon-Jackson is standing – someone he ‘doesn’t trust’.
I served Fratton for 40 years, I still have daily contact with people in Fratton and what surprised me was the good response I got on the doorstep.Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock
Their relationship soured after Lib Dem Cllr Vernon-Jackson said he had been wrong to back Mr Hancock after he admitted to forming an ‘inappropriate friendship’ with a female constituent. But Mr Hancock, a former Lib Dem, said he ‘regrets’ telling local radio Cllr Vernon-Jackson was his key motivation.
‘I regret what I said there – but it’s not the only reason I’m standing,’ he said.
‘In the context of what we were talking about, I made that perfectly clear.
‘With regards to Gerald, I don’t trust him. I am really surprised someone like Gerald put out a letter for people saying they had to sign up to support him.
‘I have never known any parliamentary candidate in any election wanting his colleagues to sign a pledge to him.’
It comes after the full list of candidates standing at the general election on May 7 was announced.
A set of local elections are happening on the same day – with Mr Hancock deciding he wants to regain his former role as councillor for Fratton.
Mr Hancock said: ‘I served Fratton for 40 years, I still have daily contact with people in Fratton and what surprised me was the good response I got on the doorstep.
‘It was clear to me people have missed the service I have provided as a councillor.’
Meanwhile, Cllr Vernon-Jackson said he did not want to get drawn into a row.
‘People are very clear in saying they want a good, hard-working local MP, who will work to make sure the economy is protected and there are more secure local services,’ he said.
Full list of candidates
- PORTSMOUTH SOUTH
Sue Castillon (Labour)
Flick Drummond (Conservative)
Mike Hancock (Independent)*
Steve Harris (Ukip)
Sean Hoyle (Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition)
Don Jerrard (Justice and Anti-Corruption Party)
Ian McCulloch (Green)
Gerald Vernon-Jackson (Lib Dem)
- PORTSMOUTH NORTH
Gavin Ellis (Green)
John Ferrett (Labour)
Mike Fitzgerald (Ukip)
Steven George (Justice and Anti-Corruption Party)
Penny Mordaunt (Conservative)*
Darren Sanders (Lib Dem)
Jon Woods (Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition)
Tim Dawes (Green)
Graham Giles (Labour)
Alan Mak (Conservative)
John Perry (Ukip)
Steve Sollitt (Lib Dem)
Monica Cassidy (Green)
Caroline Dinenage (Conservative)*
Alan Durrant (Labour)
Rob Hylands (Lib Dem)
Christopher Wood (Ukip)
- EAST HAMPSHIRE
Peter Baillie (Ukip)
Peter Bisset (Green)
Damian Hinds (Conservative)*
Richard Robinson (Lib Dem)
Alex Wilks (Labour)
Suella Fernandes (Conservative)
Nick Gregory (Independent)
Miles Grindey (Green)
Harvey Hines (Independent)
Malcolm Jones (Ukip)
Stuart Rose (Labour)
Matthew Winnington (Lib Dem)
- MEON VALLEY
David Alexander (Ukip)
Christopher Carrigan (Lib Dem)
George Hollingbery (Conservative)*
Diana Korchien (Green)
Gemma McKenna (Labour)
* denotes sitting MP
Take the opportunity to question MP candidates
PUT questions to your parliamentary candidates at The News’ hustings.
We’ve teamed up with Portsmouth-based solicitors Coffin Mew to hold pre-election panels, where you can quiz wannabe MPs.
The hustings dates, which are all 6pm for a 6.30pm start, are:
- GOSPORT: Wednesday, April 15; Thorngate Halls, Bury Road, Gosport, P012 3PX.
- FAREHAM: Thursday, April 16; Fareham College, Bishopsfield Road, Fareham, PO14 1NH.
- HAVANT: Monday, April 20; Havant Borough Council’s Public Service Plaza, Civic Centre Road, Havant PO9 2AX
- PORTSMOUTH NORTH: Tuesday, April 21; Highbury College, Tudor Crescent, Portsmouth, PO6 2SA.
- PORTSMOUTH SOUTH: Thursday, April 23; Portsmouth University – Portland Building, Portland Street, PO1 3AH.
To attend e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Website highlights what votes say matters across UK
The general election will be decided on the issues that matter to ordinary people - and you can keep up to date with the latest views and opinions around Britain thanks to a new website.
Together with our Johnston Press colleagues around the UK, we have launched whatmatterstome.co.uk to showcase the views of voters.
We literally have gone from John O’Groats to Land’s End – as well as closer afield to places such as Waterlooville and Fratton – asking people one simple question: What matters to you about this election?
So see whatmatterstome.co.uk for the real issues.