BOOSTING our city’s health services and safeguarding our defence was high on the agenda as two Tory candidates launched their campaigns this morning ahead of June’s General Election.
Penny Mordaunt and Flick Drummond, current MPs for Portsmouth North and Portsmouth South respectively, issued a call to arms for followers during speeches at Southsea Castle.
Both candidates urged in their speeches to rally behind them to spread ‘a positive message’ to the electorate.
Ms Mordaunt spoke of improvements to healthcare in the city, stating that a Tory government would increase spending on health services for local authorities by 18 per cent.
She said: ‘Health care and the NHS is one of my main priorities. The conservatives are the only party that has funded the NHS’ plan in full.
‘Not that long ago the Queen Alexandra Hospital was one of the worst performing hospitals in the country, now 129 extra doctors and 187 extra nurses have been brought in since I became an MP in 2010.’
We want people to vote for something and not against somethingFlick Drummond MP
The current minister for disabled people also pointed to defence as one of her key priorities.
She said: ‘Strong defence is in Portsmouth’s DNA. We have now transformed the MOD and balanced the books. We have a growing navy in terms of manpower, planned ships and a bigger RAF. Jeremy Corbyn does not understand defence and the Liberal Democrats believe we can have a deterrent that works Monday to Thursday.’
The candidate also stated that the number of those in Portsmouth North on benefits had dropped from 2,226 to 825 since 2010.
Mrs Drummond said her campaign would spread a ‘purely positive message’.
She said: ‘We are going to be working our socks off to make sure that I can carry on my plan for Portsmouth.
‘I have been working really hard on tackling loneliness, education and infrastructure in the city and I really need that extra time in the city as I want to make a massive difference in the city.’
The candidate had previously supported the Remain campaign in the EU referendum last year but insisted that it was in the past and her motive now to was to secure ‘a successful Brexit.’
She urged supporters to disregard polls which point towards a Tory victory stating: ‘We must not get complacent. It’s going to be a purely positive message. We want people to vote for something and not against something.’
Liberal Democrat candidates Gerald Vernon-Jackson and Darren Sanders had previously launched their campaigns for the two seats at a public meeting on Thursday night.