Portsmouth students quiz parliamentary candidates

The four candidates for the Portsmouth South, from left, Flick Drummond (Conservative), Gerald Vernon-Jackson (Liberal Democrat), Stephen Morgan (Labour) and Kevan Chippindall-Higgin (UKIP)

Picture:  Malcolm Wells (170605-5834)
The four candidates for the Portsmouth South, from left, Flick Drummond (Conservative), Gerald Vernon-Jackson (Liberal Democrat), Stephen Morgan (Labour) and Kevan Chippindall-Higgin (UKIP) Picture: Malcolm Wells (170605-5834)
Mike Taylor, operations director at Society of St James with the leader of Portsmouth City Council Donna Jones.

Picture: Sarah Standing (170729-3206)

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IT might only be a school hustings, but Labour came out on top in the polls.

The Year 10 students from Priory School in Southsea got to ask questions yesterday of the parliamentary candidates for Portsmouth South.

I was good to get their views and see what is happening at a local level of the elections.

Isabelle Busby

Then they got to cast their vote based on what they heard.

Flick Drummond was there for the Conservatives, Gerald Vernon-Jackson for the Liberal Democrats, Labour’s Stephen Morgan and Kevan Chippindall-Higgin from Ukip.

During the event, the students, who are taking a GCSE in citizenship, grilled the candidates on a number of issues ranging from security at festivals to the privatisation of NHS and televised debates.

Afterwards, the pupils were given the chance to vote and Labour came out on top followed by the Liberal Democrats, Ukip and then the Tories.

Isabelle Busby, 15, enjoyed the hustings. She said: ‘I was good to get their views and see what is happening at a local level of the elections.

‘What you see on television is all the national stuff so it was good to see what is happening in Portsmouth.

‘Although we get their leaflets through the door, it was nice hearing what they had to say.’

Fellow pupil Aaron Jeffrey agreed. The 14-year-old added: ‘It was good to hear unscripted answers and they all said what came into their minds. I liked the fact the school organised this and gave us the chance to see what happens in politics at a local level.’

Priory School in Fawcett Road has held hustings before in the past in the run-up to elections.

Headteacher Steward Vaughan said: ‘This was about democracy and raising the important of debate and being allowed to disagree with someone but doing it in a courteous way. I am grateful to the candidates for taking time out of their busy schedules to come along.’