BBC South West is to screen a special election debate featuring local voters putting questions to a panel of the region’s most prominent politicians.
The debate will be shown on BBC One at 10:50pm tonight (Wednesday 29 April). It will be an opportunity for voters to quiz candidates from the major political parties on their policies and priorities for the South West.
The panel will feature; Ben Bradshaw - Labour; Sarah Newton - Conservative, Steve Crowther – UKIP, Dan Rogerson - Liberal Democrat, Emily McIvor - Green Party. The debate will be chaired by Justin Leigh from BBC Spotlight and is being filmed at the University of St Mark & St John in Plymouth.
Leo Devine, Head of Regional and Local Programming for BBC South West, said: “With just nine days to polling day, this is a chance for south west voters to tackle candidates directly over issues like the health service, housing and the economy - issues they’ve told us really matter to them.”
“The BBC’s news teams in the South West have been offering comprehensive coverage throughout the election, holding those seeking power to account and cutting through the promises and pledges to make clear the choice facing voters. Sunday Politics has been live each week during the campaign, discussing the big election stories. Meanwhile the BBC’s Local Radio stations in the South West have hosted 10 election debates.”
The BBC is broadcasting 12 regional TV debates simultaneously on Wednesday across England. In addition, BBC Local Radio in England is hosting more than 160 debates during the election campaign.
David Holdsworth, Controller of BBC English Regions, said: “The election has been the biggest project the BBC’s English Regions have ever embarked upon and I’m proud of our efforts to bring clarity to our audience and create compelling content. Our teams will be working flat out until May 7 and beyond to bring the best coverage of this fascinating and important election to our audience.”
Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of the Unviersity of St Mark & St John, Professor Cara Aitchison, said: "We're delighted the University has become such a hub of activity around the General Election, from the BBC choosing us as a host venue for the election debate, to Plymouth Octopus Project's political debate on the Fairness Commission.
"We've invited Camper Obscura on campus to capture portraits of students' questions, and our Student Union President has been invited to write a column for the local newspaper. These are all positive signs we are keen to translate into a good student turn-out on 7 May."
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