Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.

Summary

  1. Updates on Friday, 2 June 2017
  2. MP hopefuls for Northampton South debate issues ahead of the general election
  3. The candidates taking part are:
  4. Rose Gibbins (UKIP)
  5. Jill Hope (Liberal Democrat)
  6. Andrew Lewer (Conservative)
  7. Kevin McKeever (Labour)
  8. Scott Mabbutt (Green) could not attend and was interviewed before the debate

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

The debate is over

That's it for our live coverage of the Northampton South constituency debate. Thanks for joining us.

You've been reading the views of the five candidates standing in the general election on Thursday, 8 June.

If you missed any of our constituency debates, you can look back at them here:

Candidates fail Key Stage 2 maths test... except for one

The final question for the Northampton South candidates comes from Little Harrowden Primary School student Ella, who is 11 years old.

In a pre-recorded audio clip, she asks: "What is 4 x 7 x 8 x 12 x 0?"

Jill Hope debate
BBC

Jill Hope (Liberal Democrat), said: "I think it's 2,688".

Rose Gibbins (UKIP), said: "2,688".

Kevin McKeever (Labour), said: "2,688".

And Andrew Lewer (Conservative), said: "times zero I think makes zero, doesn't it?"

The Green candidate Scott Mabbutt could not attend today's debate and was not asked the question in his pre-recorded answers.

Thus, Andrew Lewer was the only candidate who correctly answered a primary schoolgirl's maths question.

But will a gold star translate into votes....?

What does the Labour manifesto say about healthcare?

  • Commit to more than £30bn in extra funding for the NHS in England over the next five years
  • Reverse privatisation and return health services into public control
  • Guarantee access to NHS treatment within 18 weeks and A&E within four hours
  • Lay the foundations of a National Care Service and put an extra £8bn into social care over the next five years

'Labour would scrap tuition fees for junior doctors' - Kevin McKeever

Kevin McKeever (Labour), says: "Northampton General Hospital (NGH) is not fit-for-purpose. It's too small for a town this size, and a town that is set to grow.

"We've heard from Andrew [Lewer], now the third Conservative opponent I've faced in Northampton South who has talked about improving NGH, and we've seen nothing at all.

Kevin McKeever
BBC

"It's not just about money, we need to have a much more integrated primary care pathway, integrated with social care. Seeing a GP is an issue I hear often on the doorstep, but we actually have GP vacancies here in Northampton.

"I was in Duston yesterday and one of the surgeries there has been advertising for several months. Why? Because the job is not attractive. We would try and make it more attractive to go into general practice by abolishing tuition fees for those at medical schools.

"We'd pay for that by investing £37bn in the NHS over the lifetime of the next parliament and we'd do that through an increase in income tax for those earning over £85,000 a year and stop the Conservative reduction in corporation tax for the big businesses who, quite frankly, aren't paying their way."

What does the Conservative manifesto say about healthcare?

  • £8bn increase to NHS England budget compared to current level by 2022-23
  • Include value of family home in means test for people receiving social care at home
  • Cost of care to be capped and people guaranteed to keep £100,000 of assets once care billed paid
  • Allow deferral of care bills until after death to ensure no-one is forced to sell family home

'Time to look at a new hospital for Northampton' - Andrew Lewer

Andrew Lewer (Conservative), says: "We have spent a huge amount of money on the NHS.

"What I would want to bring to the role in Northampton South is my experience running a £400m adult care service and make adult care and health integration one my priorities in my work as an MP.

Andrew Lewer
BBC
Andrew Lewer (left) being interviewed by BBC Radio Northampton's Stuart Linnell

"I wouldn't have the NHS take over social care, because it needs to be more locally based and responsive to local needs.

"An integration means better working patterns than we have at the moment, despite the best efforts of people on both sides of it.

"What I think is also worth looking at here in Northampton, controversial though it might be, is the site of the hospital and looking at putting in a new unit altogether.

"Given the size of the population growth in Northamptonshire, given the transport infrastructure that we want...we need a fit-for-purpose hospital and that may involve having to move it."

What does the UKIP manifesto say about healthcare?

  • Give NHS England £9bn extra year by 2021/22, with £2bn more for social care
  • Increase nurse training placements and reinstate funding for bursaries
  • Crack down on ineligible foreign nationals using the NHS
  • End Private Finance Initiative (PFI) deals in the NHS

'£9bn extra a year for the NHS until 2021' - Rose Gibbins

Rose Gibbins (UKIP), says: "UKIP are planning to introduce a system where GPs who have already retired, including those with small children, would come back part-time to try and bring the workforce up to a better standard.

debate gibbins
BBC

"In addition, we would look to fund the tuition fees for people who are undertaking a medical degree - provided they commit to working in the NHS for 10 years after they qualify.

"We would also increase funding for the NHS by £9bn each year up until 2021.

"We think that will help provide the workforce that is needed and alleviate the pressure on GPs' waiting times in particular."

What does the Green Party manifesto say about healthcare?

  • Roll back use of private providers in the NHS
  • Scrap NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plans
  • Provide an immediate cash injection to the NHS
  • Bring mental health care into line with physical health care

'Restore NHS funding gap' - Scott Mabbutt

Scott Mabbutt (Green Party) could not attend today's debate, but in a pre-recorded comment, said: "We need to recognise that there is a severe problem with the NHS at the moment.

"We're not meeting our four-hour A&E targets, our 62-day cancer targets are short and we're lagging behind other advanced nations with cancer deaths.

"The Green Party would first of all seek to restore the funding gap, with a £12bn injection of cash - which we feel is the shortfall at the moment - and whilst doing that create parity of esteem for mental health care

"I've heard other people want to create that before, but we would want to introduce a 28-day target from seeing your GP to being seen for psychological support. That is something that is needed with waiting lists for talking therapy exceptionally long at the moment."

Mental health image
Thinkstock

What does the Liberal Democrat manifesto say about healthcare?

  • Add 1p onto each rate of income tax and ring-fence the money for NHS and social care
  • In the long term, develop a dedicated health and care tax
  • Guarantee rights of healthcare workers who are EU nationals
  • End public sector pay freeze and reinstate student nurse bursaries

'Pressure on doctors is unacceptable' - Jill Hope

The second topic for the Northampton South candidates is health.

It's a big issue, with the future of the NHS never far from the headlines; we've become used to hearing doctors and healthcare professionals say the service is facing unprecedented pressures.

debate pic 2
BBC

Jill Hope (Liberal Democrat), says: "We want to put more money into the NHS, we're talking about putting a penny on income tax.

"Because of the policies we instituted in the coalition government (with the Conservatives 2010-2015), that doesn't affect the lowest paid, only those on a reasonable salary.

"The extra money - £7bn - will be ring-fenced for health, primary care, social care and help for people with mental health issues.

"My daughter is a junior doctor, she does those 12-hour shifts without time to eat or drink. It's unacceptable and so we need to do something to put more money in."

What does the Green Party manifesto say about transport?

  • Re-nationalise the railways to public ownership
  • Re-regulate buses, investing in increased bus services especially in rural and other poorly-served areas
  • Cancel all airport expansion and end subsidies on airline fuel

'More access for walking and cycling towns' - Scott Mabbutt

Scott Mabbutt (Green Party) could not attend today's debate, but in a pre-recorded comment, said: "We would want to create more access for walking and cycling in towns.

"We'd invest £2m in that in the course of the next government, with the hope of creating a virtuous circle to not only improve pollution, but people's health.

"We also have a policy of bringing the rail network back into public hands and we would do that as each subsequent rail franchise times out, with the hope of saving money and diverting more money from shareholders to service users."

What does the UKIP manifesto say about transport?

  • Oppose Heathrow Airport expansion in favour of expansion of regional airports
  • Scrap HS2
  • Remove road tolls on public roads
  • Repeal the Climate Change Act

'HS2 is a vanity project that we cannot afford' - Rose Gibbins

Rose Gibbins (UKIP), says: "One of my pledges is to introduce a park-and-ride scheme to the periphery of Northampton to feed into a light railway transport system which will serve the town.

"It will not only relieve congestion, but address the air pollution problem. I don't see such visions from the other parties.

"Unfortunately we [UKIP] were never involved in the formation of the West Northampton Development Corporation (WNDC), which agreed to bring 36,000 houses to Northampton by 2026.

"We can't cope with that. You need to have a system that allows people to get around the town.

"We want to invest in the original rail infrastructure. HS2 is a vanity project that we cannot afford."

HS2 plan
BBC
The high speed rail link HS2

What does the Liberal Democrat manifesto say about transport?

  • Investment in road and rail infrastructure, continued commitment to HS2, Crossrail 2 and rail electrification
  • Take over the running of Southern Rail and Govia Thameslink
  • Invest capital in major transport improvements and infrastructure
  • Oppose expansion of Heathrow, Stansted, Gatwick and any new airport in the Thames Estuary - instead focus on improving existing regional airports such as Birmingham and Manchester

'Move the ridiculous bus station' - Jill Hope

Jill Hope (Liberal Democrat), says: "Investment in roads in Northamptonshire has been dire. Look at the problems in Northampton, virtually every day there is gridlock in the town centre.

"The so-called 'smart corridor' in St James is proving to be a disaster.

"Nobody knows why £2m has been spent on absolutely nothing. They've smoothed out the road, they moved a few bus stops, they have put in a 'transport hub'...it's just crazy.

"If I had to justify that expenditure, that would be impossible.

"It horrifies me because the need for investment in roads in Northampton is so considerable and they've wasted money on a stupid scheme like that.

"We need the north-west bypass, we need St James Mill link road. We just need better roads, and to move the ridiculous bus station."

What does the Labour manifesto say about transport?

  • Extend high speed rail link HS2 to Scotland
  • Build a new Brighton main line for the South East
  • Build Crossrail 2 - to run north-south through London between Hertfordshire and Surrey - "to ensure our capital continues to prosper"
  • Recognise the need for additional airport capacity in the South East (but there's no mention of Heathrow)

'Investment in a national infrastructure fund' - Kevin McKeever

Kevin McKeever (Labour), says: "The last Labour government (1997-2010] led a big investment programme on the roads here in Northamptonshire, which we've seen under way on the A14.

"We need to continue that and to invest in our infrastructure around the town.

"I actually agree with Andrew, we need to complete the ring road. It's only half done, 30 years on.

"We'd want to invest in that via a national infrastructure fund, but equally we want to get freight onto rail too.

"We fully support the Oxford to Cambridgeshire rail link that would pass through the south of the county, and to make sure we get HS2 built too.

"Even if freight doesn't use HS2 it frees up capacity that would be on the West Coast Main Line and the M1."

What does the Conservative manifesto say about transport?

  • Review rail ticketing to remove "complexity and perverse" pricing, with a passenger ombudsman introduced
  • Focus on creating extra capacity on the railways to ease overcrowding, bring new lines and stations, and improve existing routes - including for freight
  • Continue investment in the high speed rail line between London, Birmingham and the North (HS2), Northern Powerhouse Rail and the expansion of Heathrow Airport, while ensuring these projects develop the skills and careers of British workers
  • Almost every car and van to be zero-emission by 2050 with a £600m investment by 2020 to help achieve it

'Need for new roads and rail investment' - Andrew Lewer

The first topic up for debate at the Super Sausage Cafe in the Northampton South constituency is that of transport.

One in ten jobs in Northamptonshire are in logistics - so you could argue it's a bigger issue here than in many other places.

Group pic
BBC

Andrew Lewer (Conservative), says: "I think there has been a huge amount of investment in roads in recent years, but what I would like to see in the future is the link roads in the north west and north of Northampton to ensure that not as much traffic comes into the town centre as it does at the moment.

"We also need continued investment in rail, which has been at a high level, and particularly to get some freight onto the rails to free up the road network for passenger traffic."

Meet the candidates

These are the candidates we’ll be hearing from in our debate:

Rose Gibbins (UKIP):

Rose Gibbins
BBC

Jill Hope (Liberal Democrats):

Jill Hope
BBC

Andrew Lewer (Conservative):

Andrew Lewer
BBC

Kevin McKeever (Labour):

Kevin McKeever
BBC

Scott Mabbutt (Green):

Scott was unable to join us in person for the debate, but he was interviewed beforehand and his views will be played to the other candidates.

Scott Mabbutt, Green Party
Green Party

'One of the county’s most watched seats'

Sam Read

BBC Radio Northampton politics reporter

There’s uncertainty in the seat after the sitting Conservative MP David Mackintosh decided not to stand again.

Some in his party publicly said they had lost confidence in him after a failed £10.25m public loan to Northampton Town made when he was leader of Northampton Borough Council.

The Tories have chosen a candidate with no connection to the local authority in Andrew Lewer, who is currently an MEP for the East Midlands region which includes Northamptonshire.

Kevin McKeever is the Labour candidate, who lost by around 3,800 votes in 2015 and also came second in the Police & Crime Commissioner election last year.

The Liberal Democrats have chosen local councillor Jill Hope, while UKIP have chosen the party’s Northampton chairwoman Rose Gibbins. Scott Mabbutt is the Green candidate.

When it comes to local party activists – this is one of the county’s most watched seats.

General Election 2015 results in Northampton South
BBC

Welcome to the Northampton South general election debate

Hello and thank you for joining us for our final Northamptonshire general election debate.

We've travelled across Northamptonshire to meet the people who want to become one of the county's seven MPs on 8 June.

Today we'll be hearing from candidates in the Northampton South constituency.

You can listen again to the debate on BBC Radio Northampton on Stuart Linnell's breakfast show.

We'll be bringing you the main points on this page, after a look at the panel.