Portsmouth council boss brands Lib Dems ‘hypocritical’ over strip club battle

Donna Jones
Donna Jones
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CITY Lib Dems have been branded ‘hypocrites’ for the way the party handled a bid to open a strip club in Southsea’s Albert Road.

The application to open Elegance in the street was thrown out after a campaign against it, backed by Lib Dems, residents and traders.

But now Tory boss Donna Jones has hit out at the party, claiming their staunch opposition of the application was in conflict with their plans when they ran the council.

She said that when the party was last in charge of the authority in 2014 they raised fees on licence application to generate more cash – which included bids for sexual entertainment venues.

But city Lib Dem leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson said the claims were ‘rubbish’ and ‘not a key part’ of his group’s overall income generation.

Cllr Jones said: ‘In the last budget they proposed when they were running the council in February 2014, their sole income-generation proposals were through raising money by changing licence permissions for the retention of more sexual entertainment venues.

‘While the Conservatives have generated income through buying commercial property the Lib Dem’s idea was to profit from sex.

‘Typically the Lib Dems say one thing and do the other. On this application it’s come back to bite them and demonstrated, clearly, the complete hypocrisy of the party.’

Cllr Vernon-Jackson said it was policies written by his party in 2014 that he says were key in helping councillors reject the proposals and stopping any more strip clubs from opening. He said: ‘What has been said is complete rubbish. I am pleased that because the policy we have written was so strong that we have been able to resist having this application.’