Candidates for Huntingdon seat grilled at election hustings event

L-R Mark Argent, Jonathan Djanogly, Chan Abraham and Samuel Sweek

L-R Mark Argent, Jonathan Djanogly, Chan Abraham and Samuel Sweek - Credit: Archant

With next month’s general election in sight, an audience of voters were given the opportunity to find out what the prospective parliamentary candidates for the Huntingdon seat will be offering.

An election hustings, which took place at the Medway Centre in Huntingdon, on Sunday, saw a 120-strong audience invited to put questions to three of the six candidates.

Labour's Samuel Sweek, Mark Argent for the Liberal Democrats, and Jonathan Djanogly, for the Conservative Party, all took part in the Question Time-style debate, chaired by Chan Abraham.

The audience listened as candidates, in turn, gave their views on family income, the NHS, zero-hours contracts, payday lenders, universal credit and climate change.

One audience member asked: "How do parties justify different dates for achieving carbon neutrality."

Mr Sweek answered saying: "We are undertaking a radical climate policy. We are going to make sure big polluters are held accountable."

Mr Djanogly said: "There is a trade off between growth and the need to look after planet. There is a balance to be struck. We are ahead of curve".

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Mr Argent said: "Some of this is national, some is global. We need international co-operation. Not a time to be isolationist."

Other questions asked included the provision of zero-hours contracts and pay-day lenders, with each candidate being asked if they would "clamp down" on pay-day lending schemes.

Mr Djanogly said that things are being done to help with personal debt but that he feels that some zero hour contracts play a part in society.

He said: "Action is being taken against pay day lenders, the regulators are on to them. We will not be ending zero-hours contracts."

Mr Sweek said that he did not support zero-hours contracts and felt that pay day lenders needed to be clamped down on and universal credit needed to be scrapped.

He said: "We need to completely overhaul the benefit system, to a personal approach. The labour government will scrap universal credit."

Mr Argent also agreed saying that his party will provide policies that will give a middle ground between employment and self-employment. He also says that a five week delay on universal credit leaves them needing food banks.