TWO-HUNDRED supporters rallied in Winchester to launch Liberal Democrat Danny Chambers’ general election campaign.

Mr Chambers stressed that protecting local NHS services, cleaning up rivers and the cost of living are his key priorities.

He needs to overcome a majority of 985 votes to take the seat, won by Steve Brine for the Conservatives in 2019.

At the launch, Mr Chambers said he wants to protect local NHS services, including Winchester’s A&E services at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital.

He called for a feasibility study into three potential sites for a new hospital in or near the city.

Mr Chambers also argued that water executives should be banned from paying themselves bonuses until the dumping stops.

He believes the water regulator, Ofwat, should be abolished and replaced with a new regulator.

(Image: Danny Chambers)

Mr Chambers said: “Now more than ever we need an MP who has bold ideas to protect our local NHS, who has the passion and the training to tackle the climate emergency, and who will take action against river pollution.”

“Speaking to voters here in Winchester and the Meon Valley, the message I get back is clear - people are tired of this government which is failing our NHS and failing to tackle the cost of living crisis. 

“It would be the honour of my life to represent the people of Winchester and the Meon Valley. I am a hard-working and thoughtful candidate who will work all year round to stand up for them in Westminster.

“Our voting system means that only the Liberal Democrats can beat the Conservatives here in Winchester. Last time we missed out by just a few hundred votes, so every vote counts.

"A vote for Labour or the Greens would mean a Conservative MP is elected for another five years."

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

As well as Mr Chambers, the other candidates for the Winchester seat are: Chris Barfoot (Independent), Flick Drummond (Conservative), Hannah Dawson (Labour), Andrew Davis (Social Democratic Party), Kevin D'Cruze (Independent), Lorraine Estelle (Green), Andy Liming, (Hampshire Independents), Sean Whelan (Reform UK).