Harlow Election Husting

Harlow College

With the June 8 election fast approaching five MP’s who are in the running for Harlow MP were involved in an election husting. The panel were trying to win over student at Harlow College who for many is their first time voting in an election.

The party’s involved Conservative candidate Robert Halfon, Labours Phil Waite, Liberal Democrats Geoffrey Seeff, UKIP’s Mark Gough and the Green parties Hannah Clare. All candidates focused on education, housing, career opportunities and Brexit.

Conservative candidate Robert Halfon told of his investment in apprenticeships and education “Universities received £10 million of government money” Halfon believes that apprenticeships are as good if not better than degrees as you can earn whilst you learn. The current Harlow MP stated “81% of apprenticeships get higher than the minimum wage and 90% go onto get a job with the company they did the apprenticeship with.” Robert Halfon promised that investing in young people would offer new apprenticeships and apprentice degrees that will be available to student at Harlow College this September.

Phil Waite of the Labour party told the audience he would “stop and reverse the proposed cuts to schools” He believed that universities should be free for all and the minimum wage should be raised to £10 per hour no matter your age. He also stated how Labour would “give funding to 16-18 year olds to make them stay in school and complete their education.”

Green Party candidate Hannah Clare called for voters to “stand up for the future.” The Green Party aims to introduce rent control, abolishing letting fees and scraping age related wage bands.

Mark Gough of UKIP called this “very important election” with the NHS the top of UKIP’s priorities with UKIP promising “more than £11 billion for the service.” He also explained how the NHS “our greatest institution is in a state.”

Liberal Democrats candidate Geoffrey Seeff firmly expressed his views on Brexit declaring “this is going to change your lives and your children’s forever.” He continued his concerns on Brexit by saying it means “uncertainty, disinvestment and devaluation that will threaten your peace and the propriety to us here and in Europe.” He called for renegotiation and wants the country to decide after clearer information on Brexit.

The panel were split over the possibility of lowering the voting age from 18 to 16 years old. Labour, the Green Party and the Liberal Democrats were all in favour of the possible change while the Conservatives and UKIP wanted the current law to remain with the age of 18 the minimum age of voters.

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Jordan Dobson

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