Luton North candidates battle it out at hustings

The candidates debated for two hours
The candidates debated for two hours

Britain’s EU membership and the need for housing in Luton provided the main flashpoints as Luton North’s parliamentary candidates took part in an election hustings yesterday evening.

The two hour debate, which took place at Luton Sixth Form College, saw students grill the candidates on local and national issues as diverse as the environment and voting reform.

The panel, which was chaired by A-Level student Sophy Lelliott, consisted of Kelvin Hopkins (Labour), Allan White (UKIP), Dean Russell (Conservatives) and Sofiya Ahmed (Green).

Cllr David Franks also appeared on behalf of Liberal Democrat candidate Aroosa Ulzaman.

Following an opening question on the Human Rights Act, the panellists began debate on whether a referendum should be held into Britain’s EU membership.

Kelvin Hopkins admitted that he went against his party in thinking that a referendum should go ahead, in order to “kill the argument”.

Dean Russell agreed, adding: “When I speak to people most believe we should have a chance to have a say...I trust the British people.

“We do not feel connected to the decisions that are being made.

“I feel we should push for reform.”

Debate over housing provision in Luton also proved divisive, as panellists disagreed on how best to solve the town’s needs.

> Pictures by Chris Lennon