South Downs College hosts Any Questions? with extremism and migrants debated

From left: Sir Vince Cable, Emily Thornberry MP, presenter Jonathan Dimbleby, John Hayes MP, South Downs College principal Mike Gaston and economist Dr Ruth Lea

From left: Sir Vince Cable, Emily Thornberry MP, presenter Jonathan Dimbleby, John Hayes MP, South Downs College principal Mike Gaston and economist Dr Ruth Lea

A wellwisher lays flowers outside the Houses of Parliament Picture: Lauren Hurley/PA Wire

Portsmouth MP ‘very upset’ after Westminster terror attack

  • South Downs College hosted BBC Radio 4’s Any Question? show
  • Politician quests, including former business secretary Sir Vince Cable answered questions posed by the audience
  • Subjects debated included the Counter Terrorism Bill and migrants
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THE migrant crisis, extremism and the future of meat-eaters were the topics on a question and answer radio show.

South Downs College, in Waterlooville, hosted BBC Radio 4’s weekly show Any Question? and a range of topics were discussed using questions posed by the audience.

It was really interesting and a lot more balanced than I thought it would be.

Caitlin Powell

Guests on the show included John Hayes, minister for security at the Home office, Emily Thornberry, shadow employment secretary, former secretary of state Sir Vince Cable and economist Dr Ruth Lea.

The show, hosted by Jonathan Dimbleby, encourages people to ask questions on topics from the week’s news.

Subjects discussed included how the migrant crisis will affected the future of the European Union, the threat on freedom from the Counter Terrorism Bill and comments made by shadow environment secretary Kerry McCarthy.

Student Caitlin Powell, 18, went along to the show as she is studying business at the University of Portsmouth.

She said: ‘It was really interesting and a lot more balanced than I thought it would be.

‘Normally, you hear the show can be one-sided but I thought there was a good mix.’

She added: ‘John Hayes and Emily Thornberry got a bit tense at times but it wasn’t as feisty as I thought it would be.’

Mr Hayes and Ms Thornberry disagreed on a lot of the subjects with things heating up during the question about the Counter Terrorism Bill.

The bill says schools, prisons, NHS Trusts and local authorities have a duty to prevent people from becoming involved in radicalisation and should report people expressing views on extremism.

Scott Alexander, a teacher, posed the question on the bill asking if it is a threat to freedom of speech.

Mr Hayes said: ‘The bill is not about offending people.

‘I think it is all too easy to be naive about the threat we face with Isil.

‘These are people who maim and murder others and we know if people in this country were not being checked and watched, they would be doing those I just said.’

But Ms Thornberry said it could cause mistrust between communities. She said: ‘Police and security services have to work with communities and there has to be trust.’

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