General Election 2019: Portsmouth North candidates quizzed about racism in their parties
RACISM within national politics and smear campaigning were slammed by both Portsmouth North candidates as they made their case to voters last night.
During a hustings hosted by The News and the University of Portsmouth parliamentary hopefuls Penny Mordaunt and Amanda Martin were quizzed on what they thought of political etiquette.
Tory Ms Mordaunt said she did not agree with smear tactics.
However, audience member Andrew Butterworth pressed her about a previous reference she made about the Labour Party. 'You did call another political party evil,' he said.
Ms Mordaunt responded: 'I think it is very difficult for Labour MPs - who I don't think are anti-Semitic - to ask people to vote for a leader of their party who I think is.
'It's not about the Labour Party that I have stood against in the past. There's something else going on here.'
But Labour Ms Martin stood by her party. She said: 'I don't believe it's evil.
'As the chair of the Portsmouth Labour Party I had instances of anti-Semitism online. I dealt with them and followed procedures. Those people have been removed.
'I am the Labour Party of old, wanting to bring communities together.'
When asked about reports of Islamophobia within the Conservative Party, Ms Mordaunt said: 'There's an investigation into that. It's something the party is dealing with. But it's not on par with what's happening in the Labour Party.'