Bridgemary North

Newly-elected Liberal Democrat councillor Steve Hammond is delivering a leaflet making the malicious claim that ‘the other political parties’ were responsible for distributing anonymous, offensive material on November 30, Bridgemary by-election day, and accusing us of gross insensitivity to his personal history.

There were only two other parties in the by-election. Let us be absolutely clear: Gosport Conservatives were in no way involved in this. We have had the same assurance from Mr Smith, election agent for the Labour candidate. This was also made clear to Mr Hammond on several occasions.

So why does he think that it is a good idea to make this libellous allegation? It isn’t a good idea. Both the police and party legal departments have been informed.

The intention behind this material was to implicate and discredit other political parties. Let’s be clear about something else: individually and as a party, we expressed our sympathy with Mr Hammond and his family for the evident distress this caused, and do so again here. There is no place for such gutter material in politics.

And there is only one local party with a history of last-minute dirty tricks.