Protest group will back anti-cuts candidates

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A PROTEST group set up to oppose cuts says it will back candidates in the forthcoming local elections in May.

Portsmouth Against the Cuts Together (Pact) was formed to oppose government cuts to public spending.

It said it will support those who stand against cuts to public spending in the city.

Representative Ben Norman said: ‘There will be anti-cuts candidates standing and we will give them our support.

‘We are a coalition of community groups with members of a few political parties, and many of them will stand on an anti-cuts platform.

‘We want them to support our budget and to oppose all job cuts and service cuts. If candidates from any party do that, they will get our support.’

The group was also considering running its own candidates for election, but has ruled that out.

Pact organiser Jon Woods, pictured, said: ‘We felt we couldn’t really put our own people up, because our members are trades union members, members of the public and members of political parties.

‘We couldn’t really have them standing against their own associates.

‘But we have agreed to put together the pledge, which will outline candidates’ support for our alternative to the council’s budget, and opposition to the cuts it is making.’

Pact was the only group in the city to put up its own alternative to the budget adopted by Portsmouth City Council two weeks ago.