All six of the candidates for Guildford in the forthcoming general election took part in Cranleigh School’s Hustings for Young People in an event specially organised by the History & Politics Department. The room was packed with sixth formers from Cranleigh and other local schools and colleges, many of whom will be voting for the first time next month.
The audience put forward an excellent set of questions on a range of subjects including: local housing, Brexit negotiations, defense structure, the integration of refugees and fake news. Candidates were put through their paces as each was given just one minute to answer each question in a debate that was expertly chaired by politics teacher Mr Rob Verdon.
“It is a challenging time politically and a great time to be teaching the subject, especially when it can be brought to life in an event like this. The students asked some gritty questions that really put the candidates to the test and proved that young people are engaged in politics. The School is extremely grateful to the candidates for their time and for making this possible,” said Cranleigh’s Head of Politics, Sarah Webb.
Candidates represented all the parties and independents standing in Guildford: Zoe Franklin of the Liberal Democrats, John Morris of the Peace Party, Mark Bray-Parry of the Green Party, Independent candidate Semi Essessi, Howard Smith of the Labour Party and the Rt Hon Anne Milton, who will be defending her seat in June.
While the speakers all posed a range of viewpoints on the major political issues, there were two things they all agreed on: a strong dislike of the word ‘Brexit’ and an insistence that young people should make sure they register their vote and use it. (Note that registration for the next election closed on May 22nd.)
Following the School’s hustings the candidates all moved on to take part in the Cranleigh Village Hustings, sponsored by Cranleigh Churches Together.