Election debate heats up at hustings

Journalism students had their pens and notebooks at the ready at the university hustings event today (Friday).

All five candidates standing for the City of Chester constituency attended and were quizzed by the audience, setting out their pre-election pledges and discussing issues like opportunities for young people, the fight against climate change and Brexit.

L-R: Samantha George – Conservatives, Bob Thompson – Liberal Democrats, Nicholas Brown – Green Party, Ian Rasmussen (journalism lecturer and debate chairman), Chris Matheson – Labour Party and Andy Argyle – Brexit Party.

Ian Rasmussen, who chaired the debate, said that events like this were “a golden opportunity” for students to hone their public interrogation skills.

He said: “You can get at the real, unmediated truth and observe the candidates and their minders critically.”

Ed Spencer, a sports journalism student, attended, saying it was an opportunity for him to gather sources for one of his assignments.

Lewis Pinto, a second-year journalism student, was also present.

He said: “I missed the Brexit debate [at the university] last year, and thought this would be interesting to go along to. I didn’t really care much about politics until I started a module about democracy and journalism with Ras, and that module changed my mind.

“I think I already know who I’m going to vote for but I still think it’ll be interesting. I’m going to try to talk to the candidates after to get a story.”

The deadline to register to vote in the December 12 election is at 11:59pm on 26 November.

Sign up here: https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.

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