Election 2015 England

Mike Hancock standing for re-election as he 'doesn't like' rival

BBC Radio Solent debate
Image caption The debate with UKIP, Labour, Liberal Democrat, Conservative and an Independent candidate was chaired by BBC Radio Solent's Julian Clegg

Disgraced former Liberal Democrat MP Mike Hancock has said he is standing for re-election because he dislikes his former party's candidate.

Mr Hancock made the comment towards ex-colleague Gerald Vernon-Jackson during a BBC Radio Solent debate with Portsmouth South candidates.

Mr Vernon-Jackson said "politics needs to be less about personality".

The candidates also discussed shipbuilding in the city, immigration, the NHS and trust in politicians.

Strong voice

Mr Hancock, who is standing as an independent candidate, resigned from the Lib Dems after apologising for an "inappropriate and unprofessional friendship" with a vulnerable constituent.

He had been the MP for the area since 1997 and also for three years during the 1980s.

The former Lib Dem said: "I don't think I would have stood if Gerald hadn't been the Lib Dem candidate. I don't like him.

"I lost trust in Gerald and I wouldn't like to have someone follow me who I couldn't trust, so why should the people of Portsmouth trust him?"

Mr Vernon-Jackson, who was leader of Portsmouth City Council for 10 years, said: "Politics needs to be less about personality and giving an offer to the people of the city and what policies they can put through."

Politics and personality

Flick Drummond, the Conservative candidate, said: "Being independent will not give him the strong voice for Portsmouth in parliament."

Labour's Sue Castillon said people wanted someone who would represent their issues and their problems, rather than controversy.

Steve Harris, UKIP's candidate, said Mr Hancock could run if he wanted to.

He added: "Anyone who thinks politics doesn't hinge on personality is nuts."

The candidates also talked about poverty and local issues during the debate, chaired by Julian Clegg.

Mr Vernon-Jackson, Ms Drummond and Mr Hancock all called for better education and good employment prospects.

Ms Castillon said young people needed more say in their future and Labour would give the vote to 16-year-olds.

Mr Harris said uncontrolled migration was making Portsmouth "overcrowded".

Portsmouth South candidates

  • Sue Castillon - Labour
  • Flick Drummond - Conservative
  • Mike Hancock - Independent
  • Steve Harris - UKIP
  • Sean Hoyle - Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
  • Don Jerrard - Justice & Anti-Corruption Party
  • Ian McCulloch - Green
  • Gerald Vernon-Jackson - Lib Dem

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