General Election 2019: Portsmouth South candidates divided by Brexit opinions during hustings

ULTIMATELY it was Brexit policy that divided the opinion of Portsmouth South parliamentary candidates during a hustings event last night.

Wednesday, 20th November 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 20th November 2019, 6:05 am
The University of Portsmouth and The News, Portsmouth, jointly hosted an election hustings for Portsmouth South at the Eldon Building, Portsmouth, on Tuesday, November 19. Pictured is: (l-r) Mark Waldron, editor of The News, Portsmouth, Conservative party Donna Jones, Labour party Stephen Morgan, Brexit party John Kennedy and Liberal Democrat party Gerald Vernon-Jackson. Picture: Sarah Standing (191119-2571)

Speaking to audience members at the University of Portsmouth's Eldon Building prospective MPs used their Brexit policies during their opening and closing bids, despite much of the main debate being centred around other local and national issues.

Staunch Brexiteer and Tory candidate Donna Jones said: 'A vote for me is going to be a vote to regain some sense of honour and some sense of organisation and productivity in parliament because it's been complete chaos.

'We've brought shame on ourselves national by members of parliament not honouring the largest vote this country has ever seen.'

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The University of Portsmouth and The News, Portsmouth, jointly hosted an election hustings for Portsmouth South at the Eldon Building, Portsmouth, on Tuesday, November 19. Picture: Sarah Standing (191119-1420)

Labour Stephen Morgan, who is fighting for re-selection, promised voters a second referendum. He said: 'Representing our community in the area where I grew up has been the greatest honour of my life.

'As the only candidate who can beat the Tories again, sort out Brexit and put it back to the people. And if elected on the 12th of December I promise to do so much more.'

John Kennedy, who represents the Brexit Party, said: 'The largest two parties have let you all down. What we have seen the last parliament degenerated into complete muddle.

'This is one of only two constituencies in Hampshire where if you want Brexit you can vote Brexit. Do it and let me keep their feet to the fire.'

However, Lib Dem candidate Gerald Vernon-Jackson reaffirmed his pro-EU beliefs. 'This election is probably the most important election in a generation,' he said.

'We will decide if we're part of a confident, outward looking nation prepared to work with other nations to create free trade and peace with our nearest and closest trading partners in Europe.

'This has been our nation's policy for the last 200 years. Or we can turn our back on everything we've learnt in our history.'