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Summary

  1. Coverage of the BBC Radio Merseyside debate about the 2017 general election
  2. Peter Dowd (Labour), Laura Evans (Conservative), David Hunter-Keay (UKIP), Sue McGuire (Lib Dems) and Jessica Northey (Green) taking part
  3. Updates from Thursday 1 June

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage of the debate

Thanks for joining us for what has been an interesting and far-reaching debate.

If you would like to take another listen to what happened, you can find the full debate here.

And if you want to discuss what was debated, call BBC Radio Merseyside's Roger Phillips on 0151 709 9333 before 14:00.

'We will scrap the punitive sanctions regime'

Labour's Peter Dowd says:

We will scrap the punitive sanctions regime introduced by the Tories, scrap the bedroom tax, implement the PIP legal ruling, restore housing benefit for under 21s, scrap the bereavement support payment reforms that the Tories brought in and we'll upgrade carers' allowance.

People facing disability benefit cut over cirteria 'is completely wrong'

The Lib Dems' Sue McGuire says:

There are people being called in for case reviews and having their disability benefit cut because their condition doesn't meet the criteria, and that is completely wrong.

'Make sure people are getting the maximum from benefits'

Conservative Laura Evans says:

We need to look at benefits closely - and we are scrutinising them - and also to make sure they are getting the maximum from those benefits.

'We need to improve our support at all levels across the field'

The Green Party's Jessica Northey says:

We need to improve our support at all levels across the field to ensure that people with disabilities are represented at the highest levels of politics so they can influence the decisions which are going to impact on their lives.

'Nobody wants to see any cuts to people who are on disability benefits'

Ukip's David Hunter-Keay says:

Nobody wants to see any cuts to people who are on disability benefits and I would to see funding cut that is going abroad, so we do not cut our benefits.

What will the parties do to support disabled people?

The final question comes from Lucy, who asks:

What will the parties do to support disabled people?

'We need to get our businesses to hook into local talent'

The Lib Dems's Sue McGuire says:

Liverpool has some fantastic universities, they're leading on cutting edge and we need to respect that and we need to get our businesses to hook into that.

We have a fantastic opportunity here, picking up the point from Jess and the Green Party, we should be looking at new technologies and green technologies.

If we, as Merseyside, sell ourselves as a centre of excellence in those areas then investment will come.

'The lifeblood of this city'

Conservative Laura Evans says:

There has been £400m worth of investment into Peel Docks at Liverpool - they are amazing, they are going to be the lifeblood of this city.

'We want a new economy based on green investment'

The Green Party's Jessica Northey says:

We want a new economy based on green investment, based on new technology, based on renewable energy.

We need to make this transition as a country, as a European continent, as a planet if we want to give a future that's worth living for our children.

Our manifesto sets out a plan to invest in the technologies we need to transform our economy to provide new, clean, green jobs for young people that are meaningful and will help our country make the transition that's needed.

'Keep the Labour Party away from Number 10'

Ukip's David Hunter-Keay says:

I say this very simply and from the bottom of my heart - if you want to save the economy, you must keep the Labour Party away from Number 10.

The last time they were in power they country was in an absolute mess - we all lost our jobs, we all lost our homes.

'We've got to have strong local government'

Labour's Peter Dowd says:

What we've got is a situation where in the South East, they account for 40% of GDP and the rest of us in the regions are lagging behind.

We've got to have strong local government, and I'm pleased that we've got a new Metro Mayor who is going to help focus our attention to get the inward investment that we actually need in Merseyside.

'How will each party bring investment into the region?'

An audience member asks:

How will each party bring investment into the region?

Houses 'have to be connected to the communities in the right places'

The Conservatives' Laura Evans says:

We admit we have to build more houses and these houses have to be in the right place.

They have to be connected to the communities in the right places.

'What is being offered right now isn't responding to what local people want'

The Green Party's Jessica Northey says:

The houses that are currently being built on the green belt are not affordable homes.

In many of the towns surrounding Liverpool, you'll see these new developments, they are strictly dependent on car ownership, they're not linked up to local services. It feels like across the North West, there is a low level of debate and discussion what the actual needs are.

What is being offered right now isn't responding to what local people want, it's responding to what the developers want.

'The lowest level of housebuilding since the 1920s'

Labour's Peter Dowd says:

We've got the lowest level of housebuilding since the 1920s, and we're going to continue to have the lowest level under the Tories. They've not met any of the targets they've set themselves.

We want to be able to achieve major housebuilding in this country and it's got to be done in partnership between local authorities, housing associations, the private sector - that's how you get affordable housing.

'The situation in housing is at a crisis point'

Ukip's David Hunter-Keay says:

The situation in housing is at a crisis point. With the immigration to this county over the last 20 years, we've had to build a house every five minutes.

The type of houses you see being built are not the type of houses you want to see if you want to start on the property ladder - it is totally geared to people coming in and not wanting to get on the property ladder.

'We need to build more houses'

Liberal Democrat Sue McGuire says:

We admit that we need to build more houses and these have to be right place and connected to the communities and there has to be the infrastructure.

I don't know at this point what the price of an affordable home should be because the prices are going up and going up and going up.

'How is the housing crisis going to be solved?'

Audience member Peter asks:

How is the housing crisis going to be solved?

'More investment in areas to offer children a variety of options'

Conservative Laura Evans says:

Tuition fees will be staying but we will be looking at more investment in areas to offer children a variety of options.

'Education is an investment in our country'

Labour's Peter Dowd says:

What we'll be doing is investing in early years, in primary, in secondary and in further education, university education and lifelong education.

Education is an investment in our country, communities, nation and economy and unless we give young people the best start in life, right the way through, the country will fail.

Population numbers mean 'there is not enough money for everybody'

Ukip's David Hunter-Keay says:

The Labour Party brought in tuition fees and I was one of the very first people to be hit by them in 2003 and the debt is very serious.

But let me tell you that no party can help you with education or the NHS until they get numbers down in this country, because until that is resolved, there is not enough money for everybody.

'A review of education and higher education funding'

The Liberal Democrats' Sue McGuire says:

As it stands at the moment, our policy is to undertake a review of education and higher education funding.

One thing I would like to bring up is the proposed cuts by the Conservatives to our primary and secondary schools. Education starts at a young age and it's absolutely paramount that children at the earlier stages get the funding that they need to reach the potential that they have.

'Education is fundamental, it is a right, not a privilege'

Jessica Northey of the Green Party says:

Education is fundamental, it is a right, not a privilege, and it should be available to every child and young person.

[Why], in the fifth richest economy in the world, are we're asking our young people to bear the burden of student debt to pay for their skills and the services that they will provide for our economy and our society?

'Should we pay for tuition?'

First-time voter Isaac asks:

What's stance on education? Should we pay for tuition or should it be free?

'We need to work very intelligently with the EU'

The Green Party's Jessica Northey says:

We need to work very intelligently with the EU and our friends in the EU.

We have to make sure that together, we come out of this in a positive way and maintain the rights that we gained from the EU.

'We should give the people an opportunity to see what that deal is'

The Lib Dems' Sue McGuire says:

The Lib Dems are saying people should have an opp to take a decision on the deal. There was a vote last year and we respect the result of that vote, but that was a decision, that wasn't a decision on the destination.

The Lib Dems' position is clear - we should give the people an opportunity to see what that deal is.

'We love Europe, we don't like the EU'

Ukip's David Hunter-Keay says:

The reason we have left the EU is not because we don't like Europe - we love Europe, we don't like the EU.

But the problem is that the immigration the EU is giving us is absolutely horrendous. It is non-European immigration that the EU is allowing that is causing problems.

'We will be strong, we will stand up'

Labour's Peter Dowd says:

Do I believe the Labour party can stand up for us in Europe? Yes we can.

We have good relationships with our European partners, what we don't want is a PM who is using megaphone diplomacy to try and get something that is not going to be reasonable as far as the Europeans are concerned.

So yes, we will be strong, we will stand up and we will make the case for the British in Europe but we can't do it by irritating people in Europe.

'Negotiate a good deal with no shilly-shallying'

Conservative Laura Evans says:

We have to get behind this woman to make sure she does negotiate a good deal with no shilly-shallying.

We are going to have to deliver on the Brexit vote - if you don't keep your cards to your chest, how on earth are we going to get the best deal?

Will each party be brave enough to stand up to the EU over Brexit?

The debate host, Andy Ball, asks on behalf of people who have phoned in:

Will each party be brave enough to stand up to the EU over Brexit?

'If people see any radicalisation they need to speak up more'

Ukip's David Hunter-Keay says people must speak out more about individuals they are concerned about.

He says:

We have to ask questions - why do people who live in these communities not speak out more?

If people see any radicalisation they need to speak up more, there is no point in saying afterwards 'we suspected this person and were concerned about them'.

'More police back on the streets'

The Green Party's Jessica Northey says "we desperately need to look at the resources and policing".

She says:

The cuts in policing have been devastating - for Manchester in particular. We need to get more police back on the streets and the strategies we are using.

'Fight terrorism by putting resources into the police'

Labour's Peter Dowd says the "responsibility for terrorism lies with the terrorists with those particular individuals or groups of individuals".

He says:

We have to tackle those groups in a range of ways but we have to make sure that we all stay united.

We do have cohesion in our communities, but we've also got to set aside the resource to tackle those terrorists who want to destroy our way of life and you do that by putting resources into the police.

They've been cut by 20,000 over the past few years, 6,000 community support officers have been cut over the past few years and there have been cuts to the intelligence service.

'Do we need more investment in intelligence services?'

Laura Evans of the Conservatives asks if "we making the right investment into MI5 and MI6?"

She says:

We've got 1,900 intelligence officers - more than we have ever had - and 18 other attacks were stopped before this one wasn't unfortunately, but I think we have done the right thing.

'We need to work from a community base upwards'

The Liberal Democrats' Sue McGuire says the problem society has is "that we don't immediately react and respond against and pick on particular sections of our communities".

She says:

The way to deal with this is to remain united and work with the various communities across the UK to ensure that we have a better understanding and a better way of working together and root out any fundamentalists.

We need to work from a community base upwards.

'What actions should be taken to reduce the frequency of terrorist attacks?'

The first question comes from Peter, who asks:

What actions or inactions have led to the current situation whereby Islamic terrorism is now something the British people are told they should accept as part of living in a major city and what actions should be taken to reduce the frequency of future atrocities?

Who will be debating?

Debating today are representatives from the five major parties on Merseyside, all refereed by BBC Radio Merseyside's Andy Ball.

BBC Radio Merseyside debate
BBC

They are:

  • Peter Dowd - Labour candidate for Bootle
  • Laura Evans - Conservative candidate for Liverpool Walton
  • David Hunter-Keay - UKIP's Liverpool branch chairman
  • Sue McGuire - Liberal Democrats candidate for Southport
  • Jessica Northey - Green Party candidate for St Helens South and Whiston

You can listen to the debate on BBC Radio Merseyside or follow it here.

The seats that could decide the election

There are 650 constituencies in the United Kingdom, but the election campaign will be concentrated in the marginal battleground seats - the ones with small majorities that are most likely to change hands, such as the City of Chester.

Marginal seats
BBC

There's no official definition of a marginal seat but people often look at constituencies where the majority - the gap between the first and second placed parties - is under 10%.

BBC Politics' Peter Barnes has taken a look at the seats being targeted by the parties.

Why education could determine how you vote

Class used to be an accurate indicator of voting habits - but that's no longer the case.

BBC Newsnight's Katie Razzall has investigated the new political divisions in Britain and reports on the education divide.

Students
BBC