Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Portsmouth council leader's 'Vermin' tweet blamed on 'typo'

Tweet from Donna Jones Image copyright Twitter
Image caption The tweet was sent in a row over office refurbishment

Portsmouth's council leader has insisted calling her predecessor "vermin" on Twitter was an accident.

Conservative Donna Jones referred to Lib Dem Gerald Vernon-Jackson as "GeraldVerminJackson" in a tweet during a row over office refurbishment.

Ms Jones took to social media following claims about her "flash" office costs from the Lib Dem opposition group.

She said it had been a "complete typo" and blamed her phone's auto-correct facility. She did not delete the tweet.

Mr Vernon-Jackson said the tweet was "not terribly adult".

On Wednesday the Lib Dems claimed she had spent £15,000 on office refurbishment.

Mr Vernon-Jackson said: "Council budgets are under real pressure and yet the council leader spends money on a flash new office - it's not the right thing to be doing".

Ms Jones responded that cost was £5,800 which included £1,000 for sound proofing and £836 for a door that complied with disabled access legislation.

She pointed to "Lib Dem hypocrisy", saying it was part of a maintenance programme approved by the previous administration.

A Conservative minority administration has been running the authority since elections in May.

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