Students put Hartlepool MP hopefuls on the spot

QUESTION TIME:  From left: Conservative candidate for Darlington Ben Cuthbertson, Labour candidate for Hartlepool Iain Wright, hustings chairman Matthew Calvert, UKIP candidate Phillip Broughton and Green Party candidate Michael Holt.

QUESTION TIME: From left: Conservative candidate for Darlington Ben Cuthbertson, Labour candidate for Hartlepool Iain Wright, hustings chairman Matthew Calvert, UKIP candidate Phillip Broughton and Green Party candidate Michael Holt.

6
Have your say

A COLLEGE held a hustings event which saw students grill prospective parliamentary candidates.

Two hundred young people from Hartlepool Sixth Form College, off Blakelock Road, packed into the hour-long event, which was the first of its kind at the college.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Hartlepool Sixth Form students at the Hustings event.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Hartlepool Sixth Form students at the Hustings event.

Several candidates, who hope to become MPs in this year’s elections made up the panel, which was chaired and organised by Year 2 politics student Matthew Calvert, aged 18.

And college bosses said the hustings event went down a storm, and was so popular with students that some had to be turned away as there wasn’t enough room.

Maureen Bunter, from the college, said: “The students got a lot out of it.

“In the autumn term we looked at how to register your vote, and also carried out election tutorial to help them to gather enough information to make an informed decision before they vote.

We want to make students think for themselves and be confident in this area.

Maureen Bunter, Hartlepool Sixth Form College

“It’s something that we’ve wanted to do before and we’re so glad we’ve done it as we want to make students think for themselves and be confident in this area.”

Each of the candidates gave a two to three-minute pitch on their manifesto before the chance to ask questions was put to the floor.

“It was very popular and we literally had to turn people away because it was so busy,” she said. “It’s definitely something we’d consider again.”