04:39PM, Thursday 05 December 2019
Slough’s general election candidates clashed over voter ID, the environment and the potential impact of Brexit during a hustings event.
Langley Churches Together hosted the debate on Tuesday (Dec3) to give residents a chance to quiz the five contestants seeking to represent the town in Parliament.
The predictable question of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union was put to candidates early on.
Liberal Democrats candidate Aaron Chahal said he feared businesses could move out of Slough Trading Estate if the country leaves the EU on a ‘hard Brexit’ deal.
He said: “If we leave the EU in the form of a no-deal Brexit or even in the form of ‘Boris’ deal, whatever that is, we very much risk these headquarters being moved abroad.”
Conservative candidate Kanwal Toor Gill hit back by saying the UK will ‘continue to thrive’ outside of the trading bloc while Labour’s Tan Dhesi said he was in favour of a customs union Brexit.
Attention soon turned to the issue of climate change with Green Party candidate Julian Edmonds stressing the need to make ‘serious gains’ in reducing carbon emissions over the next 10 years.
Delphine Gray-Fisk, standing for The Brexit Party, said the issue of CO2 levels had been overplayed.
She told the audience: “I do think it is very important to reduce pollution where possible but not at the expense of running down industry around the country.”
The Brexit Party candidate also called for early intervention in schools to warn of the dangers of drugs and violence.
The debate over whether compulsory ID should be introduced for voters divided candidates with the Tory representative demanding a system which ensures ‘honesty and fairness’.
Tan Dhesi, seeking re-election to a seat he has held since 2017, responded: “What we know is voter ID will cost hundreds of millions to implement and it will marginalise the already marginalised.”
The hustings took place at the Marish Primary School.
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