FOUR political candidates who are fighting to be elected as MP for Stroud on December 12 came face to face at Marling School for a political hustings event on Friday afternoon.
David Drew from the Labour Party, Siobhan Baillie from the Conservative Party, Molly Scott Cato from the Green Party and Desi Latimer from the Brexit Party attended the event to answer questions from students.
County councillor Keith Rippington attended too, representing the Lib Dems in place of the party’s candidate George James who last week stood down to give the Green party a clear run at the Stroud seat.
Libertarian candidate Glen Goggerly was not able to attend due to work commitments but will be visiting at another time.
Students in the sixth form who have their 18th birthday on or before December 12 will be voting for the first time in the upcoming election, but the majority of pupils at the event will not be old enough to take part.
However, politics teacher Holly Rogers said hosting the event provided a valuable opportunity for students, giving them the opportunity to listen to and question representatives from the major parties and further develop their political awareness and engagement.
A group of sixth form politics students organised the event themselves, which took the format of a three minute hustings by each candidate, followed by questions asked by pupils in the audience.
It took place in a packed school hall, with politicians and students debating a range of issues, including Brexit; university tuition fees; the value of the ‘Unite to Remain’ pact; the pros and cons of grammar schools; the environment; Boris Johnson’s offensive comments about women, ethnic minorities and members of the LGBT community.