With just over a week to go to polling day, the Priory Election Panel met with Flick Drummond, the Conservative candidate in Portsmouth South this morning. Flick told us about her passion for education and her desire to see quality improved in schools and hospitals so that they were as good or better than private services. She outlined the importance of getting people into work in order to get them out of poverty. Facing questions on the dockyard, Flick outlined her view that the dockyard had now secured more longer term boat building work than before. On voting age she indicated that she was not keen on lowering the age to 16 and that 18 was adequate. During questions on education, Flick explained that she liked the structure of GCSEs and that she was wary of the move to no-coursework and no-resits, drawing on her own experience of education as a pupil and a parent. She urged pupils to see tuition fees as a form of graduate tax, rather than as a debt and not to let that put them off going to university. She also emphasised her passion for apprenticeships which she hoped to see grow. Asked about immigration and xenophobia, Flick stressed her admiration for migrants in filling roles that are needed in our society and her hatred of racism and xenophobia. She told pupils she welcomed immigrants and that she would be keen to remain as a part of a reformed EU, which in her view had preserved peace and prosperity in Europe over the last 70 years.
Later this morning pupils will have the chance to grill Gerald Vernon-Jackson from the Liberal Democrats.