Portsmouth MP hopes US trip will boost Obama bid

HIGH HOPES Barack Obama
HIGH HOPES Barack Obama
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THEY’RE an elite group of politicians who rub shoulders with Barack Obama.

Now congressmen and senators from America will visit Portsmouth – and it’s hoped their stay will help boost the city’s bid to get the US President here.

As previously reported in The News, council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson asked the White House if President Obama can come for the 70th anniversary of D-Day next year.

Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt is arranging for 50 representatives from the US government to visit Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and see its attractions on Saturday, September 7.

They’re due to be at a conference in Winchester two days before and decided it would be a good idea as part of their stay to visit the home of the Royal Navy and see some of the sights.

Ms Mordaunt hopes they will talk about their experiences back home and encourage President Obama to take up his invitation.

‘I hope everyone will go back and tell President Obama to put Portsmouth on his itinerary,’ she said.

‘We’re looking for advocates. I think these people will be amazed at what they see.

‘They are fascinated by Portsmouth and history, especially our history.

‘There is no better place to showcase that than at our coastline.

‘President Obama would be given a great reception in the city.

‘There is no doubt that opinion is divided about him being here – but in terms of D-Day everyone is proud of their history and where they’ve come from.

‘Part of our relationship with America is to do with the Royal Navy – we are the home of the navy.

‘So it would be great if President Obama could visit.’

It’s hoped he will join US veterans, who are coming to the city via cruise ship, for a ceremony before heading to Normandy on a US warship in time for the D-Day anniversary on June 6.

The council’s seafront manager David Evans is spearheading the bid to get President Obama here.