CONSERVATIVES in Portsmouth have taken a shot at their opposition party’s leader at the launch of their election campaign.
Election hopefuls Penny Mordaunt and Cllr Donna Jones, standing in Portsmouth North and South respectively, jointly launched their campaigns on Saturday, echoing their party’s national slogan to ‘get Brexit done’.
But in her speech, Ms Mordaunt – who has been the MP for Portsmouth North since 2010 – criticised both Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party as a whole for creating an ‘evil’ party.
She said: ‘Whether it is through Jeremy Corbyn or by design, it is now an evil organisation.
‘If Corbyn gets into 10 Downing Street, I worry for the values of our country; if I were in his [Stephen Morgan’s] shoes I wonder if I could stay with the Labour Party, look the public in the eye and tell them to vote for Jeremy Corbyn.
‘It’s a really horrible force and I’ve seen some real bullying and intimidation in that party.’
Portsmouth South hopeful Donna Jones, who will stand against Labour’s Stephen Morgan and Liberal Democrat Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson backed up her counterpart’s statement.
‘I don't believe Jeremy Corbyn’s hands are safe to lead this country,’ she said.
‘Stephen Morgan is a committed member of the Labour Party and accepted a job in their shadow government, so is also a threat to future of Great Britain.’
Labour candidate Stephen Morgan responded by saying he’s more focused on winning votes than personal attacks.
He said: ‘I am committed to a clean campaign, no dodgy polls, no mud-slinging and no personality politics.
‘With so much at stake for Portsmouth, and a lack of trust in how things have been going in Westminster, that is what our city and our country deserves.’
Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, representing the Lib Dems, has condemned the wording of Ms Mordaunt's statement, but agrees that moderate ‘politics has abandoned the other two main parties.
He said: ‘To call somebody evil is not what you should be doing – it condemns everything about them.
‘Jeremy Corbyn is extreme, but at the same time modern Conservatives are being driven out of their own party too, as the Tories are consumed by the extreme right.’