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  • Writer's pictureLeeds Student Television

#QuizTheCandidates Live Blog

Live text coverage of LSTV and LSR Leeds Central and Leeds North West General Election 2019 candidate debate.

Hello and welcome to the Hustings for candidates running for election in Leeds North West and Leeds Central. If you're not watching online I'll be posting updates throughout the live coverage of the event right here on the LSTV blog !

Each candidate has one minute to answer each question, and will begin by introducing themselves as well as stating their three favourite policies from their party manifesto. And if you do want to watch along with us- here's the link:

And thats a wrap ! Once again, each candidate has a lot to say about their personal stance as well as their personal experiences around the implications of Brexit . There is a lot of talk about 'society' - repairing it, making it more democratic, bringing about the will of the people... I could go on. It seems that no what side of the political spectrum the candidates are on, they each feel that they are the person and the party that will bring about the radical change that they all feel is needed.


Student Catherine says that she has been let down this year when accessing primary, secondary and crisis mental health care services, and says she longer feels she can rely on the NHS to keep her safe and instead has to rely on her peers to care for her. She wants to know ‘ what changes do you want to see to mental health services in this country and how would you rebuild the trust of people like me who have been neglected by the system?’

Ideas range from building more robust communities and looking at how we live and eat (Carlisle), giving mental and physical health the same provision (Holland) and paying more attention to the way we prescribe medication and investing in community programmes (Benn). Clouston says that one of the causes of mental health issues is the rise of individualism in recent years, he feels that to resolve this

we need a more communitarian society.

Brexit party candidate Thomas says that we should not expand the categorisations of mental health issues because it makes it too confusing

, going on to say that these smaller categorisations (presumably those of less well know mental health issues) take away from those who are ' really suffering.'

He closes his minute statement by saying that we should be more cautious with what we define as a mental health issue.


moving on !


Now for one of the more predictable questions of this debate: will you abolish tuition fees ? *raises eyebrows at the Lib Dem candidate*

Hillary Benn: yes

William Clouston: yes (I think ? I got a bit lost)

Paul Thomas: no- but cancel interest on student loans as a start

Ed Carlisle: yes, it was the green party's idea to abolish tuition fees

Stewart Harper- no, if we abolish tuition fees there will be less students from disadvantaged backgrounds coming to uni and a smaller amount of students in general. To his own surprise, he gets a smattering of applause.

Jack Holland: does not think fees are fair and that we should split the difference - 50% payed back and 50% from the taxpayer. He also says he did not support the Lib Dem's u turn on tuition fees and did not support the part in 2015.


The second question brings up the issue of climate change again- ‘Climate change is a massive issue, what your party do both locally and nationally to tackle the issue?’

Here are the key takeaways:

Crispys, Mahmoods, HFC, Charcos ..

( hahahaha …. hahah … ha)

Jack holland: We need a tram system,we must work with our international partners to tackle climate change, we should implement policy through the EU.

Hillary Benn: we need to decarbonise, use ammonia or hydrogen power not diesel, we need to improve transport in leeds and implement a tram system.

He also notes that if we fail to tackle climate change it will cost a lot more in the future than it will now.

William Clouston: the two party system stops us from ever taking a long term plan or view, we need a rapid transport system that we create over 20 years, not 5.

Paul Thomas: climate change is a myth, we need to promote first world solutions across the world so people can lift themselves out of poverty ...

Ed Carlisle: Pushing for a workplace parking levy, the green party has the most radical green agenda across the western world.

Stewart Harper: very similar to before he says we need to change our attitudes first and foremost- he says it is wrong that labour councillors want

to spend hundreds of millions building a newroad to the airport when it could instead be put into a tram system.


Welcome back to the second half ! Does that sound too much like a football

match ? I don’t know but Ive not got time to write anything else soooo … we begin.

Also a side note that the conservative candidate cannot make it so stewart harper of Leeds North West is standing in for him.


Closing statements now...

Lots of clashing and passionate statements on Brexit, but above all there has been a huge emphasis on climate change and how important it is that we tackle it now head on.

Who did you think won ? tweet us at Leeds Student TV or This is LSR !


The next question comes from Undecided voter Harriet- who wants to know how candidates (if elected) would help prevent climate change and what local changes would you promote in Leeds to aid this?

Harper says we need to listen to our (the student) generation who are more aware of the climate crisis. He says we wont change overnight, we instead need to change peoples attitudes and if we do that we can build a green agenda.

Alex Sobel says how he founded Green Action and that he is the party chair for Environmental MPS. he also makes a small slight towards his party, saying that we need to move much faster than his party's manifesto says. he does not support the expansion of Leeds Bradford Airport and says he DOES support a (controversial!) congestion charge in the city centre.

Brexit candidate Gramae highlgihts the impacts of consumerism and oil on the environment, and says that we need radical reform. It is interesting to note his repeated use of the pronoun 'you' - he says its down to 'your' generation 'you must bring about change'- does he not see it as his responsibility too?

Brexit candidate Gramae highlights the impacts of consumerism and oil on the environment, and says that we need radical reform. It is interesting to note his repeated use of the pronoun 'you' - he says its down to 'your' generation 'you must bring about change'- does he not see it as his responsibility too?

As expected, Martin Hemmingway the green candidate is keen for decarbonisation by 2030 and no airport expansion. He also notes how little of the conservative manifesto is afforded to climate related issues. He says it is the most important issue facing us as students, as well as his children and his grandchildren.


Our host Emma just highlighted the lack of female candidates and that fact that our panel is actually a 'manel' before introducing Maya Spencer-Jacobs the president of Leeds Women In Leadership Society Who asks what more is the government going to do/can do to fix the gender pay gap?

Hussein highlights the fact that his party leader is a woman - is this enough of a point ? is this a point at all ?

Sobel highlights the fact that the Labour party has over 50% of candidates standing that are women. He also says he hopes to see a trans mp in the near future.

'there just shouldn't be a gap' says Webber the Brexit candidate 'its not acceptable … if that means bringing in legislation then it should be done.' He says that women are still finding that they are being payed less than men … im fairely sure thats what Maya was saying in the question ?

Overall, not great answers from the panel on this one !


A question now from Exec member Lydia about misinformation- lets see what Stewart Harper has to say about the changing of name of the Conservative's twitter handle during the election broadcast...

Much of the same in terms of statements from the Lib Dem, Green and Brexit party candidates about how to tackle misinformation.

Stewart picks up straight away on Husseins answer, and begins a scathing attack on the Liberal Democrat candidate, telling the audience that only today Hussein released a fake newspaper which was distributed around Leeds spreading misinformation -'you are the worst offenders as a party of anyobody in this room'


Sobel has clearly done his homework, and holds up said newspaper for the audience to see.

However, interesting that Stewart has managed to totally dodge the question about the conservative twitter handle by turning his answer on the Liberal Democrat candidate !


The second question comes from LUU’s very own welfare officer Amy Wells - Will you push for the radical reform in mental health and welfare funding that we need on a national level in the community, voluntary and NHS services?’

Big round of Applause for green candidate martin Hemmingway as he says that in order to improve mental health we must fund it.

Hussein raises the point that mental and physical health should be treated the same, and that mental health support should be available 24/7


Enough with the introductions… we are off !

All candidates begin by introducing themselves ( amid some technical difficulties

which have definitely made 'CAN YOU HEAR ME AT THE BACK NOW' the iconic phrase of 2019), with big emphasis being put on mental health services, tuition fees and a green revolution. The first submitted question comes from Alex, a student here who asks 'Are you able to convince me that your party isn't institutionally racist?'

Given the may allegations against both the Labour and Conservative parties

of racism being displayed both within the party and by leaders we can look to Alex Sobel and Stewart harper to be squirming to most about this question ...

Stuart of the conservatives says its a sad reflection of society that Alex feels the need to bring this up at all.He also makes reference to comments made by unnamed members of his party which he describes as abhorrent.

Alex Sobel speaks of how he as a Jewish man has been victim of an antisemitic assault in leeds city centre, and says anti-Semites and racist must be rooted out from all parties.

Some jeers sent to Graeme of the Brexit party when he says that his party is not institutionally racist.

Green party candidate Martin Hemmingway also vows to rid parties of racism and also makes reference to Boris Johnson's 'letterboxes' insult.

As Kamran Hussein begins speaking, Alex Sobel uses his one rebuttal of the campaign to pick Hussein up on him promising to rid antisemitism from politics. He says that the Leeds north west liberal democrats ran an anti-Semitic campaign against him, a jewis MP and that he is disgusted by Hussein's statement that Leeds North west liberal democrats support the fight against antisemitism.


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