Young voters grill election candidates

Kyle Kirkpatrick chaired the debate confidently
Kyle Kirkpatrick chaired the debate confidently

CANDIDATES in the local elections faced one of their toughest grillings of the campaign on Friday – from students at Priestley College.

Some of the town’s youngest voters pitched questions to hopefuls on issues such as British values, UK membership of the EU and doctors’ working hours.

“It was the students’ choice whether to attend Priestley’s Question Time so it was really good to see more than 150 take part,” said Senior Tutor Mark Salmon.

“The panel were challenged on issues such as British values, which showed how much the students had thought about their questions.”

Student Kyle Kirkpatrick, a member of the College Council, chaired the meeting confidently keeping the panel in check.

Those taking part were Conservative MP David Mowat, UKIP Police Commissioner candidate Jonathan Starkey, Labour’s Nick Bent as well as Bob Barr and Mike Wass representing the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party respectively.

Priestley College staged the Question Time on Friday as part of its drive to encourage more young people to engage in politics.

In recent weeks all students have been able to register to vote by clicking an icon on their college computer desktop.

Mark Salmon said that, as with much of the rest of the country, Europe was a major talking point during Priestley Question Time.

“The debate on the EU referendum was intense and we will be following this with a range of activities to further our commitment to encouraging active citizenship,” he said.

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