FLICK Drummond called Winchester her “spiritual home” as she launched her campaign to become the city’s next MP.

Mrs Drummond started her campaign in front of the King Alfred Statue on Tuesday, June 4 this afternoon.

She was joined by supporters, as well as retiring MP Steve Brine and Conservative candidate for New Forest West Sir Desmond Swayne – as well as a cardboard cutout of Margaret Thatcher.

One person who was not at the launch was education secretary Gillian Keegan as she had arrived for the event 24 hours early, as previously reported.

READ MORE: Education secretary backs Winchester candidate - 24 hours too early

Mrs Drummond said that it was great to launch her election campaign, saying: “This is where I started off my political career, about 36 years ago, so it’s lovely to be home, basically.

“I tend not to focus on the other (candidates), I tend to focus on what I want to say and what I want to do for the constituents. My message is my message. I’m not keen on negative campaigning, I don’t think people are interested in negative campaigning, so I’m going to be putting forward what people have been telling me what they want to see in Winchester and the Meon Valley.”

Hampshire Chronicle: Flick Drummond in front of Winchester GuildhallFlick Drummond in front of Winchester Guildhall (Image: Chris Atkinson)

The MP hopeful also said that she shared Mrs Keegan’s view that the Liberal Democrats “say one thing on a poster and tend to do something different”.

Mrs Drummond said: “They also put a lot of misinformation too.

“As far as I can tell they are telling people that Winchester Hospital – the Royal Hampshire County Hospital – is closing, it’s not. In fact we have just put a huge amount of investment in for a new elective ward which will increase the number of operations that will be happening.

“So, I wish they would stick to the things they are going to do rather than knocking everybody else.”

SEE ALSO: Who is standing to be Winchester's next MP at the General Election?

Mrs Drummond said she was also hoping to move back to Winchester, having lived in the Portsmouth area after she was elected as MP for Portsmouth South in 2010, saying: “I lived here for 20 years before I moved to Portsmouth when I became the MP there.

“We would have moved to the Meon Valley but we had the Covid-19 Pandemic and then the boundary changes and I’m afraid I’m not in a position where I can move constantly. We just sold my flat in London because interest rates went up, but now that’s sold we’re in a better financial position to be able to start house hunting, so I’m keeping my eyes on the property market.

“We’re always back here, my friends are here, Guy Kremer does my hair and has done so for the past 36 years, I come to the optician here. This has always been my spiritual home, and I'm looking forward to getting back.”

The Winchester seat has been held by the Conservatives since 2010. Steve Brine announced he would be stepping down at the next election last year. 

Mrs Drummond has been the MP for the Meon Valley since 2019 - however this constituency has been removed and merged into Winchester or Fareham. 

As well as Mrs Drummond, the other confirmed candidates for the Winchester seat are: Danny Chambers (Lib Dem), Hannah Dawson (Labour), Andrew Davis (Social Democratic Party), Kevin D'Cruze (Independent) and Lorraine Estelle (Green).