WINCHESTER’S Conservative parliamentary candidate has said “she has dedicated herself to public life” after news resurfaced of her disqualification from the city council 24 years ago.

Flick Drummond was forced to forfeit her Winchester City Council seat, as ward councillor for St Bartholomew, in 2000 due to not attending enough meetings.

Mrs Drummond, who was 36 at the time, moved to America when her husband got a job in Wall Street. She was disqualified in line with council rules that councillors must attend at least one meeting every six months.

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Mrs Drummond, who is currently MP for the Meon Valley and hoping to become Winchester's next MP, said: “When people drag up events like these from 25 years ago, they do so only for political reasons.

“I have dedicated myself to public life in Hampshire since 1988 because I believe it is right people give back to their community. This I have done and my record speaks for itself.

“Events back then related to the last six months of my term in office and the desire to avoid an expensive by-election. I claimed no allowances and continued to work as a councillor.

“It is interesting how this comes up again in an election year. The salient issue for the Hampshire Chronicle and its readers must be whether those who have brought it up have any political affiliation.

Hampshire Chronicle: Flick Drummond in the Chronicle in 2000Flick Drummond in the Chronicle in 2000 (Image: Newsquest)

“There is plenty that could be said about Winchester’s Liberal Democrat candidate, for example, and his mocking social media posts about disabled people from just a few years ago when he stood in North Cornwall as the ‘local parliamentary candidate’ there. Perhaps this newspaper’s readers would care to ask him about that because no-one is above scrutiny.

“I take the view that if it is OK to discuss what happened with me in 1999 - and it absolutely is - then we should be discussing what this Lib Dem did in 2019. I think most people would consider this fair.”

Before leaving for America, Mrs Drummond consulted her fellow ward councillors Sue Nelmes and Dominic Hiscock, both Lib Dems, and neither objected to her continuing her role at the time.

However, following her disqualification former councillor Nelmes said that casework increased “dramatically” for her and Cllr Hiscock.

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Hampshire Chronicle: Flick Drummond in the Chronicle in February 2000Flick Drummond in the Chronicle in February 2000 (Image: Newsquest)

Hampshire County councillor and ex-city councillor of more than 20 years, Mr Hiscock, said: “She said she would be to do her casework by email and attend at least one meeting every six months. We had no evidence to say otherwise.

“I can’t say that we jumped up and down about it and I had only been elected that year so didn’t really know her.

“The circumstances are very different now because she won’t be going to America. I can understand her position was very different at that time, she was doing what she had to do for her family.

“She probably didn’t realise how difficult it would be to get back for meetings. Retrospectively she probably should have stood down.”

The Chronicle reported on Mr Chambers's social media tweets and his apology in January 2022.