Ilford North and Ilford South election candidates join the Recorder for special online hustings

Ilford North and Ilford South candidates with Recorder staff at the hustings in the Recorder offices

Ilford North and Ilford South candidates with Recorder staff at the hustings in the Recorder offices - Credit: Archant

Hustings are a traditional part of the lead-up to any election, with candidates coming face-to-face with the electorate to vie for votes.

But last night (Monday), Ilford North and Ilford South politicians were pushed out of their comfort zone after agreeing to take part in the first Recorder social media evening.

The event – which kicked off a few minutes late after some minor technical difficulties – saw questions flooding in over our live webchat, as well as via Twitter, Facebook and emails, with candidates joining us at the Recorder office in High Road, Ilford, to respond directly.

Michael McCarthy, 68, of Barley Lane, Goodmayes, asked Ilford South’s Green candidate RoseMary Warrington: “How do you tally up an open door policy on immigration and impact on the environment, ie building more houses, more road congestion?”

She said: “Well we do not advocate a completely open door. Many of the problems on housing are due to failures of this government in reducing social housing through both the right to buy and not allowing councils to build more.”

Labour candidate Mike Gapes said the NHS depended on immigrant doctors, nurses or other specialists.

Peter Robinson on Twitter asked the parties their views on climate change.

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Conservative candidate Chris Chapman said: “The Conservative Party is committed to delivering a varied energy mix which lowers carbon emissions whilst utilising the best that British industry has to offer.”

Ms Warrington said: “If we cannot breathe the air or drink the water then increasing shareholder values will not do us much good.”

Mr Gapes directed voters to the Labour manifesto, adding: “We want an ambitious agreement at the meeting in Paris in December.”

And Liberal Democrat candidate Ashburn Holder said policies included “new powers for government to introduce new energy efficiency and heat savings regulation to reduce heat and and energy use.”

In a separate web chat – run simultaneously from the Recorder office – Ilford North candidates clashed over Conservative cuts, the deficit and regulation of the banks.

Jay asked Labour candidate Wes Streeting what cuts he would have made if it had been in power over the past five years.

He said: “Do you accept responsibility for the public spending cuts the coalition government have had to implement in the past five years? The Labour campaign in this election is heavily focused on Tory cuts.”

Mr Streeting said: “Our mistake was poor oversight and regulation of the financial services industry. This is a global issue and one that hasn’t been fixed by the government.”

Ukip candidate Philip Hyde said he was “an economist and ex-investment banker” and said the country was in a “perilous state”.

Joshua Harris asked: “Ilford North has seen a rise in anti-Semitic incidents in the past year. As a young orthodox Jewish sixth former, I have personally encountered a number of anti-Semitic comments in the past few months. What will you do to carry on the fight to tackle both anti-Semetic and racist behavior in the constituency?”

Green candidate David Reynolds said the party wanted to focus on education, saying anti-Semitism “can’t be tolerated in any form”.

Mr Streeting said the party had “committed to continue funding CST and security at Jewish schools and synagogues”.

See more coverage in this week’s Recorder.

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