Ahead of a much disputed by election at Eastleigh, Hampshire, Prime Minister David Cameron had a chance to make an impression during the PM questions on Wednesday accusing Labour hopeful John O’Farrell of supporting terrorism and Argentina because he wanted Great Britain to lose the Falklands’ war.
In effect PM Cameron rebuked O’Farrell who during the campaign admitted to feeling “as surge of excitement” when he learned that the IRA had nearly assassinated then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the Brighton hotel bomb on October 1984.
“It is absolutely staggering that someone is standing for public office who has said this: ‘In October 1984, when the Brighton bomb went off, I felt a surge of excitement at the nearness of Margaret Thatcher’s demise. And yet disappointment that such a chance had been missed”
PM Cameron then added “those are the words of the Labour candidate in the Eastleigh by-election. They are a complete disgrace and I hope that the Leader of the Labour party will get up and condemn them right now”.
However Ed Miliband seemed to ignore the statement and went on to talk about the UK’s credit rating, to which the PM insisted: “Is it not amazing that the Leader of the Opposition will not condemn someone who apparently speaks up for terrorists? Is that not absolutely disgraceful? He will have a second chance when he gets up again”.
Before the debate was over Cameron scoffed the labour candidate of Eastleigh and challenged the Socialists.
“Perhaps we should end Prime Minister’s Questions on a similar note to that we began it with, by recognising the appalling views of the Labour candidate in Eastleigh. About the Falklands war—one of the proudest moments in this country’s recent history—he said: ‘I settled on the…convoluted position of wanting Great Britain to lose a war for the good of Great Britain’”.
“This candidate, endorsed by the leader of the Labour party, shows a shocking lack of patriotism and national pride”
The voters of Eastleigh are set to choose a new MP in a Thursday by-election prompted by the resignation of former Lib Dem cabinet minister Chris Huhne. From the constituency's creation in 1955 until 1994, Eastleigh was represented by the Conservatives. It has been held by the Lib Dems since.
This will be only the fifth occasion since the 1945 general election when the Lib Dems, or their predecessors the Liberals, have defended a parliamentary seat in a by-election.