AN election meeting in Winchester was disrupted last night when a member of the public verbally attacked one of the candidates.

Members of the audience called for the woman to be removed after she launched a scathing rant against Conservative Steve Brine.

Police were called to the General Election hustings in United Church, Jewry Street, after the unnamed woman released the torrent of abuse. She she claimed he had been "intimidating" and "bullying", but it is unclear over what issue.

It is not thought any arrests were made.

Mr Brine's attempt to answer her initial question was met with a barrage of abuse, which was soon interrupted by the Bishop of Winchester Tim Dakin who directed the proceedings.

He was joined by several calls from the rest of the audience asking for her to “go home” and “sit down”, hopeful their interjections would allow the panel to take other questions from the floor.

The five candidates answered questions at the packed-out church, ranging from alleged corruption in the EU to trade deals, homelessness and taxes.

The most contentious questions drew on concerns about job opportunities, the lack of affordable housing and the NHS.

During his speech, Mr Brine said the number of claimants applying for Jobseeker's Allowance had fallen by 67 per cent across the constituency since 2010.

He urged voters to re-elect the Conservatives on May 7 so they could "finish what was started".

He asked: "Do we value one of the fastest growing economies? Do we finish what we begun or do we go back to square one?"

But Labour candidate Mark Chaloner challenged this in his opening statement, saying more needed to be done to support people in low-wage jobs.

“Fourteen per cent of Winchester are earning under the living wage,” he said. “They currently work between 40 to 60 hour weeks but they can’t really afford to live. Society as a whole has devalued, over the years, certain types of jobs. The world’s gone out of sync. The Labour Party wants to make a difference to that.”

He added that low-wage workers had been forced out of Winchester’s housing market and said Labour promises to build 200,000 homes by 2020, as he attacked the Government’s previous attempts to introduce Right-to-Buy schemes.

“The Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives have failed miserably,” he said. “It’s absolutely ludicrous because homes have just been taken out of the market that we need.”

Greens candidate Michael Wilks said Winchester would become a "fossilised Disneyland" unless more was done to bring younger people to the city. "Winchester is the second most expensive place in the country to live after Oxford," he said. "It’s nine to 10 times the average income here.”

Martin Lyon of UKIP added: “Thousands of houses are being built that people won’t be able to buy. And don’t talk about Local Plan. I thought it was all about community but apparently one inspector, one man, can come in and overturn any community decision about housing.”

Liberal Democrat Jackie Porter called for more flexibility in affordable rents to allow people to move across the job market.

“So many people can’t leave home because they can’t get something affordable and we need to give people that flexibility to move around for jobs.”

Some 60-70 questions had been received before the evening’s meeting and “boiled down” to just nine, Mr Dakin said.