The University of Exeter’s Politics Society and Debating Society are set to hold a Question Time featuring five of the candidates standing for MP during the May General Election.
The event is currently scheduled to be held in the Alumni Auditorium, but overflow rooms are planned. The event will begin at 7pm on Friday 20 March.
It is hoped that the event will be able to encourage students to vote, since their questions will form the core of the event.
Speaking to Exeposé, Ryan Hopkins, President of the Politics Society, said he hoped the event would “engage students more in the run up to the General Election,” and that it would be “a good way of achieving this ambition.”
Meanwhile, Chloe Bitcon, President of Debating Society, said she hoped that it would make “politics and the surrounding debate relevant to the student body.”
Incumbent Labour MP Ben Bradshaw, said: “It’s great to see that the Guild and DebSoc have come together to hold this joint event. It’s great that Exeter University students are leading the way,” a view that is shared by his Liberal Democrat opponent, Joel Mason, who commented: “this event will provide all parties with a platform to present their policies and debate the issues at stake.”
Dom Morris, the Conservative Party’s candidate, expressed his firm belief in student influence, stating: “students play a huge part in our wonderful city,” and that he was “very much looking forward to the debate.”
Diana Moore, the Green Party’s candidate, commented that it is “brilliant to see how students are so engaged with this election,” before highlighting how Natalie Bennett “gave Exeter students a shout out in her Leader’s speech at conference this last weekend,” referring to her talk in January.
Nevertheless, the event looks set to be one of the largest political events at Exeter this year. Over 700 students have already confirmed their attendance on Facebook.
However, Left Unity Trade Unions and Socialists candidate Edmund Potts has complained that his party was not invited to the event.
Stating: “It is vitally important that we get our message out there, and that we are allowed an equal opportunity to make our case to voters,” he has asked the public to contact the other candidates, as well as DebSoc and PolSoc, to register their support for his right to participate in the debate.
VP Activities Matt Bate said: “I am excited to welcome Exeter’s MP candidates from the five largest national parties to the Students’ Guild.
Exeter students continue to demonstrate their passion for local and national politics and this will be a rare opportunity for them to scrutinise and challenge the individuals fighting to represent them.”
All MP Candidates expressed their desire for students to get more involved in Politics. Students wishing to vote can register here.
Theodore Stone, News Team