I APPEAR to have upset D R Smith (no relation thank goodness) by pointing out the fact that I am the local candidate for the Southampton Itchen constituency in the forthcoming general election (In My View, August 19).

Nowhere in my leaflet did I mention that my Labour opponent in the election was, until just a couple of months ago, a councillor from Peckham, south-east London. But somehow my leaflet has offended him.

He goes on to talk of her qualifications to represent Southampton’s residents and my apparent lack of them. Allow me to set the record straight.

I am the former leader of Southampton City Council; I was the Cabinet member for economic development when we signed most of the contracts to transform the city centre.

I was the vice-chairman of the Partnership for Urban South Hampshire (PUSH) and a director of the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) representing Southampton.

I am a former governor of Southampton Solent University and Mayfield Academy and the current chairman of the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority.

I have represented the Harefield ward on the city council for over 14 years and been only too pleased to represent constituents from across the constituency.

However, according to Mr Smith, visiting Parliament from time to time is far more important.

I am the genuinely local candidate. If that upsets him so be it.

But one thing needs to be answered by Mr Smith, the Labour candidate and all those that attack my local credentials.

When I was unsuccessful in 2010 I stayed in the city of my birth to fight again rather than take a more winnable seat.

How long will Ms Davis stay here if she is not successful in 2015?

I think her constituents in Peckham will be able to answer that.

ROYSTON SMITH, Conservative parliamentary candidate, Southampton Itchen.