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  1. Voters put questions to a panel of candidates
  2. Updates on Wednesday 29 April 2015

Live Reporting

By Martin Coldrick

All times stated are UK

Get involved


Martin Coldrick

BBC Local Live

The candidates have had their say, the voters have listened and asked their questions in this special BBC general election debate.

You can continue to have your say on

BBC Look North's Twitter feed and also
on Facebook.

Find your constituency

Martin Coldrick

BBC Local Live

There's just over a week left until the general election on 7 May. Find who's standing in your area with

BBC Election 2015.

BBC Constituency finder

'Predictable from panel'

Gareth Nichols

tweets: #LNDebate - Did anyone learn anything new from that? Typical, boring and predictable from all the panel.

'Great question'

Vicky Johnson

tweets: #LNdebate how would you encourage bright university graduates to return to rural communities to live and work. Great question

Party's ideas 'shared by many'

Vicky Dunn, for the Green Party, says during this election her party has "fought their way onto the national stage".

"Our ideas are shared by many people across Britain who want a change from the same three old parties or from UKIP.

"If you vote for what you've always voted for, you'll get what you always get. Now you've got a choice."

'Let us finish the job'

Karl McCartney, for the Conservatives, says he's not looking to be in coalition with any other party.

"My faith is in the record that I've got as a local MP, echoed by my colleagues in the Conservative-led government.

"We started the job, please let us finish it."

Party 'has costed plan'

Labour's Diana Johnson says the country's "not growing in the way it should" and that "Labour has a plan".

"We have a costed plan, we won't be borrowing any more. In our manifesto, it's very clear how we'll pay for the commitments we make.

"The current government hasn't succeeded in the way they said it would."

Party 'won't sell its soul'

Victoria Ayling, for UKIP, says her party will not go into coalition with any other party.

"It would be vote-by-vote cooperation. We certainly won't sell our souls to the SNP like the Labour Party will."

She says her party's manifesto is costed and audited and doesn't deal in "scare stories about cuts".

Warning over 'extremes'

Claire Thomas, for the Lib Dems, says it's "clear" no one party will win the election.

As part of a coalition, her party will make sure that Labour "looks after the economy" and that there'd be investment in public services if in coalition with the Conservatives.

"It's really important we don't go to one extreme or the other."

Why should voters vote for you?

Finally, host Tim Iredale asks each candidate why voters should vote for them and their parties.

Call for 'less big farming'

Vicky Dunn, for the Green Party, says rural areas need superfast broadband, post offices and schools.

Vicky Dunn

She says farming also needs to change: "We want to, and we need to, move to a lower input system which uses a lot less fossil fuels, a lot less big farming.

"Those are the Green Party policies which would really bring life back to the countryside."

'All parts benefit' from investment

Diana Johnson, for Labour, says helping young people to stay in their home communities is "all about rebalancing the economy".

Diana Johnson

"Parts of the north are going to get the investment they need.

"We've got to make sure that all parts of the county benefit from investment, benefit from the jobs we need to keep young people in areas like Hull and other northern cities."

Young people need 'right broadband'

Karl McCartney, for the Conservatives, says he represents the city of Lincoln but also several rural areas.

Karl McCartney

"For young people to stay there and perhaps work from home, they need to have the right broadband which they haven't had for some time.

"Lincolnshire County Council has been making great strides not just in my constituency but right across Lincolnshire."

'Proper infrastructure' needed

Victoria Ayling for UKIP says Lincolnshire, especially Grimsby, has been "neglected for many, many years".

Victoria Ayling

"We've got to get proper infrastructure in the area. That will attract business and sell it as a great place to set up.

"There'd be no need for any of the young to leave for the big city."

'Skills and education' needed

Claire Thomas for the Liberal Democrats says it's really important to have "good jobs" in the area.

Claire Thomas

"We need to make sure that we've got the investment in our local area so that we're creating good jobs.

"But we've also got to make sure our young people get the skills and education they need in order to take those jobs up."

Keeping people local

Abigail Tartarli asks the next question in this general election debate.

Abigail Tartarli

She asks: "I went to school in a rural area locally, but 10 years on I never see anyone I went to school with around.

"How would you and your party encourage young people to stay in local communities?"

'Renegotiated relationship' with EU

Karl McCartney for the Conservatives says he'd probably vote to leave the EU.

"I was one of the 92 Conservative backbenchers who rebelled against my party to say the people of my country needed the opportunity to vote in an EU referendum."

He says he'd like to see "a renegotiated relationship with the EU".

'Beneficial trading terms'

"Why would the EU give us the beneficial trading terms we have at the moment if we're not part of the EU?" asks Labour's Diana Johnson.

"They wouldn't, would they? If you're not in the club then why would you get the same rights if you're a full paid-up member?"

An audience member dismisses this as "absolute rubbish".

EU pull-out 'tragedy' for ports

Vicky Dunn, for the Green Party, says 4% of people in the Great Grimsby area are not born in the UK and "the immigration issue is being inflated".

"It's really about getting us out of the EU and attacking the protections we've enjoyed for the European Union."

She says the "tragedy" of pulling out of the EU for the Humber Ports is that it would be "absolutely terrible".

People 'concerned' over immigration

Victoria Ayling, for UKIP, says people are "genuinely concerned" about immigration from within the EU.

"Our services are being inundated and people have to queue for services which they've paid into all their lives."

'Lots and lots of blah'

An audience member says: "The problem with allowing the politicians to inform the public just turns into lots and lots of 'blah'.

Audience member

"It would be better if we had an independent body to give us some facts instead of point-scoring."

EU 'not an issue on the doorstep'

Host Tim Iredale asks Labour's Diana Johnson why her party won't give the British people a say on whether we remain in the EU.

She responds that it's "not an issue on the doorstep... What is an issue is around jobs, the cost of living and issues like that".

However, she says parts of the EU do need reform but "we don't think coming out of the EU is a sensible economic measure that perhaps UKIP and other parties do".

'Europe needs reform'

Claire Thomas, for the Liberal Democrats, says there are some EU regulations that are "nonsense and need changing".

"One of the things I think we should be doing is challenging MEPs, to say, 'What are you doing to stand up for our area in Europe?'

"Europe needs reform. I believe in it, I think we should stay in the EU, but I don't think it's perfect."

Audience 'doesn't reflect polls'

Victoria Ayling, for UKIP, says the audience "doesn't reflect what the polls say about whether people want to stay in or out of the EU".

She says she wants to see "a straight in-out referendum".

Show of hands over EU

A show of hands in the audience sees a majority for staying in the EU.

Show of hands

'We trust people of UK'

Karl McCartney, for the Conservatives answers: "Of course, they are.

"That's why my party is offering an EU referendum later on in the next parliament.

"That's because we trust the people of the UK to make the decision."

EU referendum query

The next question comes from Alistair Hawkin.

Alistair Hawkin

He asks: "Is the British electorate sufficiently qualified to make an informed decision in an EU referendum?"

'Poor service for poor people'

Vicky Dunn, for the Green Party, says the NHS must stop "haemorrhaging" money through what she describes as the "privatisation of the profitable bits" of the service.

Vicky Dunn

"It leaves a poor service for poor people, effectively.

"We need a unified National Health Service and we need to get the market out of it," she adds.

NHS 'under increasing strain'

Claire Thomas, for the Lib Dems, says it's clear there are problems with the NHS.

"There are increasing strains on the NHS and we need to provide the funding they need in the long-term.

"We've got to find a way to do that," she adds.

NHS 'free when you need it'

Liberal Democrat candidate Claire Thomas says she strongly believes the NHS should be "free when you need it and it should be paid for out of general taxation".

Claire Thomas

Her party is "the only main party" which has said it'll commit the £8bn that NHS England is asking for and has shown how it'll achieve that.

She criticises the Labour Party for "talking all the time" about the NHS while not promising the money the health service says it needs.

Patients in NHS 'put first'

UKIP's Victoria Ayling singles out NHS managers for particular criticism, saying patients must be "put first".

"Too much goes on with badly-managed trusts, like Stafford, for example.

"The managers do something, patients suffer, money's wasted and they go and get other jobs elsewhere."

NHS 'free at point of service'

Victoria Ayling, for UKIP, says her party's policy is to keep the NHS "free at the point of service and not to privatise".

Victoria Ayling

"We're pledged to put £3bn in in the first year, and that's to front-line clinical staff, to provide 20,000 more doctors, 3,000 more midwives and 8,000 more nurses.

The party's pledge to end "health tourism" would also save £2bn a year, she adds.

'Creeping privatisation' of NHS

Host Tim Iredale asks the audience for their views on how the NHS should best be funded.

One gentleman asks if Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contracts are "part of the creeping privatisation of the NHS" and whether they should be ditched.

Diana Johnson, for Labour, says the idea behind PFI was to "bind in" the people building new hospitals so they remained committed to keeping them "fit for purpose" for years to come.

£8bn NHS funding pledge

"We all want to see people providing the great healthcare that all our families want to have," adds Karl McCartney in response to the question about the best way to fund the NHS.

The Conservatives have pledged they'll provide an extra £8bn to NHS England if elected, he says.

'Thriving economy' vital for NHS

Karl McCartney, for the Conservatives, says the key to funding to the NHS is "to have a thriving economy".

Karl McCartney

"As a Conservative-led government we've ensured there's been an extra £12bn spent on the NHS in the last five years."

As a result, there've been an extra 8,000 doctors, 6,000 extra nurses and 2,000 more midwives and 6,000 less managers, according to Mr McCartney.

Labour 'committed to investment'

People are having to wait "far too long" for NHS treatment, according to Diana Johnson.

"It's about making sure the investment goes in, and that's why Labour is committed to a £2.5bn Time To Care Fund."

'NHS has great favour'

Diana Johnson, for Labour, says the National Health Service should be funded from taxation.

Diana Johnson

"It's one of the institutions that has great favour in this country.

"It's such a shame, I feel, that in the last few years the service the NHS has provided has deteriorated."

NHS funding in focus

Tonight's first question comes from Tony Breeson.

Tony Breeson

He asks: "What is the best way to fund the NHS?"

Facing the voters tonight

The five parliamentary candidates taking part in tonight's general election debate at the Drill Hall in Lincoln are:

  • Claire Thomas, Liberal Democrat candidate for Hull West and Hessle
  • Victoria Ayling, UKIP candidate for Great Grimsby
  • Diana Johnson, Labour candidate for Hull North
  • Karl McCartney, Conservative candidate for Lincoln
  • Vicky Dunn, Green Party candidate for Great Grimsby

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