Portsmouth general election candidate calls police over 'shameful Brexit position lie’

THE Labour candidate for Portsmouth South has said a ‘shameful’ lie about his position on Brexit has been spread by opponents.

Wednesday, 20th November 2019, 5:04 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st November 2019, 1:20 pm
Labour's Stephen Morgan. Picture: Duncan Shepherd

Stephen Morgan wrote a letter saying ‘a Lib Dem candidate for Portsmouth’ had written Mr Morgan campaigned for leave in the Brexit referendum.

It's understood Portsmouth North Lib Dem candidate Antonia Harrison has apologised over the correspondence.

In the 2017 general election Mr Morgan’s campaign literature said Labour would respect the referendum result.

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Posting the letter on Twitter he said: ‘A step too far. This behaviour in Portsmouth needs to stop.’

In the letter, Mr Morgan said: ‘Email correspondence from a Lib Dem candidate for Portsmouth stated that in the EU referendum of 2016 I “campaigned to leave”.

‘This is categorically untrue. It is widely and publicly known, that I campaigned and voted to remain.

‘Labour is now campaigning for a final say, via a public vote. In that poll, I will lead the remain efforts in Portsmouth.’

He added: 'As someone in public life I expect to be challenged on my views, but lying to voters to try and win votes is, frankly, shameful.

'Making a false (statement) about any candidate in an election is a criminal offence.

'This serious incident has been reported to the police and Electoral Commission.'

It is believed Ms Harrison wrote to an anti-Brexit group saying Mr Morgan was a ‘recent convert’ to remain.

Hampshire police has been approached for details by The News.

A commission spokesman said it was not a matter for their organisation.

Speaking to The News, Lib Dem Ms Harrison said: ‘He's making a complete mountain out of absolutely nothing.

‘He's trying to make trouble.

‘What do you do when you apologise to somebody and they still want to cause trouble?’

She added: ‘I didn’t mean any malice. I overheard something which I thought was correct. I have not told lies.’

She said nothing was written publicly.

Jess Phillips, outspoken Birmingham Yardley MP until the general election was called, tweeted: ‘Honestly, honesty seems in short supply. Solidarity to Stephen.’

This story was published at 5.36pm on November 20.