Scores of Lib Dems packed into the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth today to hear what deputy prime minister Nick Clegg had to say.
The Lib Dem leader was visiting the city today to show his support for prospective parliamentary candidate Gerald Vernon-Jackson, who is standing in Portsmouth South.
Mr Clegg made a passionate speech in which he urged ‘do not believe a word the Conservative candidate in Portsmouth says.’
He said: ‘People do not want an ideological experiment in cuts.’
Mr Vernon-Jackson said the campaign had been going well so far and that he was encouraged to see so many posters around the city.
He said: ‘There are 18 days to go and we need to work very hard for the sake of the people in Portsmouth and for the sake of the Royal Navy.’
Imagine what [Gerald Vernon-Jackson] can achieve when he becomes, as he will, the next MP for Portsmouth SouthNick Clegg
Mr Vernon-Jackson, who represents Milton on Portsmouth City Council, was council leader for 10 years before Conservative Donna Jones took over.
Mr Vernon-Jackson said he would fight to increase shipbuilding in the city and to increase investment into defence.
Mr Clegg said: ‘[Mr Vernon-Jackson] has lived within his means yet protected local public services. He has brought millions into the city and extended the number of primary school places by 1,000.
‘It is a fantastic record for a man and he is not even MP yet.
‘Imagine what he can achieve when he becomes, as he will, the next MP for Portsmouth South.’
Mr Vernon-Jackson is fighting to take the seat in Portsmouth South from disgraced independent MP Mike Hancock, who quit the Lib Dems last year after admitting to inappropriate behaviour towards a female constituent.
He faces competition from Labour’s Sue Castillon, UKIP’s Steve Harris, TUSC’s Sean Hoyle, Justice and Anti-Corruption Party’s Don Jerrard, Ian McCulloch for the Green party, Flick Drummond for the Conservatives and Mr Hancock.
Yesterday Ms Drummond also had some support from the top as foreign secretary Philip Hammond joined her campaign to knock on doors in Fratton and Copnor.
Elsewhere in the area, the TUSC party held a stall in Cosham high street to speak to shoppers