Prime minister candidate Liz Truss snubs journalist questions on Conservative visit to Portsmouth

PRIME minister candidate and MP Liz Truss has today snubbed journalist questions about how her leadership would benefit Portsmouth and Hampshire.

The South West Norfolk MP, who is battling with Rishi Sunak for the top job in Downing Street, met with Conservative members at the Queen's Hotel in Southsea today - an event that The News was exclusively invited to.

However, after initially claiming that 'the local press will have its pound of flesh' Ms Truss did not answer our questions, with security guards physically pushing aside our reporter.

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Liz Truss did not answer any questions from reporter David George on her visit to Portsmouth. Picture: Habibur Rahman

The News was intending to ask her how her defence spending plans would impact the Royal Navy, how she would respond to Portsmouth's dentistry and GP crisis and her thoughts on the pan-Hampshire county deal, which would see devolved powers given to local authorities.

While the Downing Street hopeful did speak with members about defence spending - where she has pledged an increase of three per cent of GDP - all other questions remained unanswered.

Speaking to members at the event, she said: 'We face a huge threat from Vladimir Putin - we were the first European country to send weapons to Ukraine but that's not enough.

'We need to make sure we're improving our own defences to reflect the fact we're living in a more dangerous world.

'Portsmouth has a very important role to play in that.'

During her speech, the Conservative candidate pledged a u-turn on the transforming cities fund and also insisted that 'a woman is a woman' vowing to protect single-sex spaces.

On her way out, The News approached Ms Truss with a couple of questions, we were told by security that 'we are running late, we've got to go’ and were pushed aside.

Responding to Truss' campaign visit today the Labour MP for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, said: 'As this dreary side-show rattles on, the real problems facing Portsmouth and our country are being ignored by the Conservatives.

'The two continuity candidates in Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak have no answers to sky-high inflation, rocketing energy bills and the lengthy recession the Bank of England has warned is on the horizon.

'Whichever candidate wins: their low-growth, low-wage plans won’t fix the damage the Conservatives have done during their 12 years in power.’