Having screwed the local dockyard in a city in which they had only just achieved a Westminster toehold, the Tories hit upon an excellent wheeze: create a ‘minister for Portsmouth’ to mollify the locals.
But it’s all unravelling just ten months in — with Tory Matt Hancock accused of being ineffectual and his office of, errr, not knowing the difference between Milton, Portsmouth and Milton Keynes (they’re just 117 miles apart).
Local councillors have delivered a slap in the last hour — approving an amended motion which will see Portsmouth City Council writing to the PM urging a “review” of his appointment:
“The current incumbent of the Minister for Portsmouth role, Matthew Hancock MP, has exemplified concerns that the position had merely been created for public relations purposes, rather than bringing tangible benefits to the city.
“If the role is an exercise in public relations then Mr Hancock’s confusion over the difference between Milton ward and Milton Keynes shows that even on that measure he is failing to deliver for Portsmouth.
— Jessica Parker (@MarkerJParker) November 11, 2014
Hancock could be back to face councillors as early as next week.
Let’s hope he turns up in the right city.