Hutchings: ‘Lib Dems soft on Crime’

The Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman, Chris Huhne, has been attacked by Tory candidate Maria Hutchings as “soft on crime” during a live debate at Fleming Park.

“The Liberal Democrats are very soft on crime” Ms Hutchings claimed in the debate on law and order broadcast by BBC Radio Solent.

“They are talking about community sentencing for low level crime whereby young people who commit a crime go before a panel, pay a fine and say sorry. It’s not good enough.

“The voters are not fools. They want a proper deterrent. Once someone commits crime then they ought to face punishment.”

Chris Huhne called the claim “absolute nonsense.”

“If you look at areas where Liberal Democrats are in control crime has fallen further and faster than areas where they are not in control. We do the things that work to cut crime,” he said.

Statistics released by Hampshire Constabulary in January showed that crime for Eastleigh, under a Liberal Democrat council, had dropped by 15% – almost twice the national average – and that detection rates were at around 30%.

Earlier in the debate the candidates had heard a plea for tougher sentencing from voter Sarah Alexander, who had described her feelings of anger and frustration after a Southampton man had been sentenced to seven years for the manslaughter of her son.

Ms Hutchings promised the Conservatives would take a more robust line on sentencing.

“Labour and the Liberal Democrats both voted for early release of prisoners,” she said. “We are going to be very strong and very tough.”

Defending the government’s record on crime, Labour candidate Leo Barraclough said: “Crime has been falling nationally ever since Labour came to power.

“It has fallen a third since Labour came to power and violent crime has fallen 21% since 2001.”

  2 comments for “Hutchings: ‘Lib Dems soft on Crime’

  1. Peter Stewart
    April 25, 2010 at 8:42 am

    RIDDLE: When is a promise not a promise? ANSWER: When it is made by a Tory politician!

    So Ms Hutchings has PROMISED the Conservatives would take a more robust line on sentencing! Is that another Conservative “CAST IRON” promise? Sorry but I don’t believe your “promises” Ms Hutchings and here’s why.

    Firstly I asked you a SIMPLE question at the “I Want a Referendum” debate in Eastleigh in 2008: “Do you PERSONALLY believe Britain should leave the EU?” You said: “It’s not quite as simple as staying in or leaving the EU”. That non-answer may have diverted the audience but not me.

    I realize if you had given us your REAL answer you would have been DESELECTED, because your minions told me your leaders have banned all discussion about the EU. That’s why it’s no good asking any Tory candidate such a question at this election. You simply will not get the truth!


    Secondly the unpleasant truth for Tory hopefuls is that in 2007 in the Sun Newspaper, for all the world to see, David Cameron gave us an absolute CAST IRON GUARANTEE that we would have a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty if he became PM. Straight talking you would think! But the moment the Czechs ratified the Lisbon Treaty, Cast Iron Cameron suddenly says we can’t have a referendum. After that…silence! So I’m puzzled Ms Hutchings. When can we (the Eastleigh electorate) take a Tory promise as a PROMISE? The fact is we can’t!

    You have PROMISED to cut crime and yet you still knock the LibDems despite their surprisingly good record on cutting crime. Yes, those figures surprised me. Yet for all your criticism of Chris Huhne, you have never sat in Parliament. But if you WERE elected to Parliament, how could we trust that you could be free to act in our best interests when your leaders have such a tight control over everything you say?

    Your opponent Chris Huhne on the other hand has not only sat in Parliament for 5 years, he has done a remarkable job in promoting himself and no doubt this has benefited Eastleigh considerably. What influence would you have Ms Hutchings when you are told what to say and what not to say by your leaders?

    Hardly a day goes by when Chris Huhne is not seen on TV or heard on the radio. Whatever you say about Eastleigh’s MP Chris Huhne, he gets his name across in the national media. Pity about his pro-EU views though, but I guess he is flexible enough to change them in the light of the impending failure of the Euro. But his views are no more pro-EU than those of Tory leaders…are they Ms Hutchings! And at least he is honest enough to let us know BEFORE the Election exactly where he stands on this most important point, unlike you or your leaders. You Tories say one thing on Europe but do quite the opposite. You Tories say you are “tough” on Europe, that you will “fight our corner”, yet your track record since 1972 (when you first let the EU annex Britain) shows that you are quite willing to ratify every EU diktat which gets thrown at us, all to the detriment of Britain and Eastleigh. Look at the EU Turkish trade deal which has done so much to ruin Ford, our principal local manufacturing industry. It was Tories who paved the way for that ruinous deal! It was Tory actions in aiding and abetting the EU’s annexation of Britain which have done so much to devastate the future for our young workers.

    I was a Tory activist for 20 years until 1994, when I saw the light and converted to UKIP. Ms Hutchings, I am very surprised that you have been converted from your life-long support of Labour to the very opposite in politics: So-called “Conservatism”. I know these dramatic swings in political outlook do sometimes happen, but I wonder how long you will last as a “Tory”?

    If you are a TRUE conservative, then all that now remains is for you to see the light like I did and come across to UKIP!

  2. David Knowles
    May 2, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    Thats a bit of a laugh Peter,Chris Huhne no more Pro Euro than the Conservative Leadership.He has written 2 books telling us how we should join the Euro.On the Lisbon Treaty,What point was there in having a referendum on a treaty that had been ratified by the Labour goverment.If you,Peter are a true Conservative then rejoin the Conservative Party rather than a barmy talking shop called Ukip whos only purpose in Eastleigh it seems is to promote Pro Euro Chris Huhne!

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