THE Lib Dem candidate for the Meon Valley has branded his opposition as "shameful" after she declined to attend a public debate.

Lewis North had invited Conservative candidate Flick Drummond to three events across the constituency. He was told by Ms Drummond's agent that 'her diary is fixed for the next two weeks'.

Mr North said: "It is shameful that the Conservative candidate won't debate other candidates this election. Setting out your stall in front of the public should be a key feature of any General Election campaign.

"If Winchester are having debates, why shouldn't the Meon Valley? The people deserve to know what is on offer this election."

Ms Drummond has since responded saying the dates were announced at short notice.

She said: "'This is pretty desperate stuff. I’m more than happy to debate with Lewis and the other candidates but I was not able to do the dates he put in his own diary. By any stretch of the imagination, that’s not a refusal.

"I was only selected three weeks ago and need to make sure that I spend my time talking directly to residents so we have put a timetable into place to ensure I get around the constituency.

"It’s a bit sad really that he has attempted this cheap political shot, but I suspect he thinks it’s better than talking about positive policies in the Meon Valley, which is what I’m doing."

The former MP for Portsmouth South also said it was "a little odd" that Mr North did not mention the hustings when they met over the weekend in Bishop's Waltham.

Ms Drummond added: "The fact is I would very much like to discuss with him why he wants to act like the referendum never happened and why 17.4 million people in this country should have their views to leave the EU ignored when they were told they would be honoured.

"I would also like him to explain how reneging on the referendum result when he is standing for a party called the Liberal Democrats will do anything at all to move this country forward, respect democracy or heal its divisions."

The events Mr North is referring to run on: Thursday, December 5 at Denmead War Memorial Hall between 5.30pm and 7.30p; Friday, December 6 at West Meon Village Hall at 6pm; and Sunday, December 8 in Bishop’s Waltham Jubilee Hall from 4pm.