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  1. Coverage of the North West Tonight debate about the 2017 general election
  2. John Bickley (UKIP), Nigel Evans (Conservative), Lisa Nandy (Labour), Stephanie Pitchers (Green) and Lisa Smart (Lib Dem) taking part
  3. Updates from Tuesday 30 May

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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  1. 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 look at what happened, you can find the full debate here.

  2. The panel's final thoughts

    The panel are each asked for a final thought.

    NW election panel

    The Green Party's Stephanie Pitchers says she thinks the country is divided:

    Quote Message: Tory policies are making us even more divided.

    Labour's Lisa Nandy says:

    Quote Message: How we handle post-Brexit Britain is going to be incredibly important to that. The country was split about the direction that we wanted to take and we have to listen to both sides.

    Nigel Evans, speaking the Conservatives, says:

    Quote Message: The choice is clear - on 8 June, it is either going to be Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn.

    Liberal Democrat Lisa Smart says:

    Quote Message: It's for everybody to decide who is the best MP to represent you and your area. I've got hope that tomorrow can be better than yesterday or today.

    And UKIP's John Bickley says:

    Quote Message: The more we see of Theresa May, the less we can trust her. However, she will win because the Labour Party is so awful.
  3. 'We need to fund schools properly'

    The Liberal Democrats "can be trusted with schools", Lisa Smart says.

    She says:

    Quote Message: We need to fund schools properly because what we're seeing is that schools are seeing cuts.
    Quote Message: I have been a school governor for the last 13 years and I have seen our budget forecast dropping and we are going to have to lose staff. That is not how you improve learning for young people.
  4. 'We believe teachers know what's best for their students'

    Stephanie Pitchers says the Green Party "has really great vision for schools".

    She says:

    Quote Message: We want to take away Ofsted because we find that it gets the government to go into schools and impose these really stressful situations on teachers that they don't need.
    Quote Message: We believe teachers know what's best for their students. We trust that teachers can teach their students, that they are trained to do so.
    Quote Message: We are also going to take all schools out of the free schools and academies systems and put them under local authority control because every time a new free school or academy is opened, it is taking money away from local authority schools and that's not fair.
  5. 'There has to be somewhere good for young people to work'

    Labour's Lisa Nandy says John Bickley is wrong and who has been through education in the last 25 years will know he "is talking absolute rubbish".

    She says:

    Quote Message: We have young people in this region who are unemployed in areas where we have vacancies and the question about how you bring those two things together is very important.
    Quote Message: We have to invest in young people - schools have been cut - but the flip side is that there has to be somewhere good for young people to work.
    Quote Message: In the last couple of years, [the Tories] have destroyed industries like clean energy, which were growing six times faster than the economy as a whole.
  6. 'We used to have the greatest education system in the world'

    UKIP's John Bickley takes up the idea of grammar schools and how good they were.

    He says:

    Quote Message: Grammar schools were a great leg-up for working class children and the Labour and Tory Party decided to destroy that system, which was working so well.
    Quote Message: The results of that today is if you look at Programme for International Student Assessment, we're 27th in Maths and 22nd in English.
    Quote Message: We used to have the greatest education system in the world and we can't even make the top 20.
  7. 'We've got to make sure people have the right education'

    Nigel Evans says the Conservatives will invest heavily in education to help the young.

    He says:

    Quote Message: We're of talking of investing another £4bn - this is a real terms increase - in the education of our young people to make sure they have got the right skills.
    Quote Message: We're the fifth largest economy in the world - if we want to see that continue, we've got to make absolutely certain we've got the right skills in our workforce for the future and for that to happen, we've got to make sure people have the right education.
  8. 'How will you equip our young people to hit the ground running?'

    The final question from the audience comes from Sara Lawton, who wants to know the panel's views on education.

    She asks: "What will you do to ensure the education system equips our young people to enter industry with the appropriate skills to hit the ground running?"

    Sara Lawton
  9. 'The truth is politics is about priorities'

    Labour's Lisa Nandy says there is a need to "take the political mud-slinging out of the funding for people in care and real needs" but politics cannot seem to get past such things.

    Lisa Nandy

    She says:

    Quote Message: The truth is politics is about priorities and that is deeply political, that is about the different choices we've all made as political parties.
    Quote Message: When I look around the North West and I see ambulances backed up outside of hospitals and I see nurses who haven't had a pay rise for seven years, some of which are visiting foodbanks - when I see those huge pressing needs, I know exactly what this is, because I saw it growing up in this region under Margaret Thatcher - it is the political choices of the Tory Party.
  10. 'Something needs to be done quickly'

    Liberal Democrat Lisa Smart says something must be done to stop the NHS becoming "a political football".

    Lisa Smart

    She says:

    Quote Message: The health service is too important to be this political football - that's long-term Lib Dem policy, but in the short term, the health service is in crisis.
    Quote Message: Nearly two thirds of NHS trusts finished in the last financial year in deficit and something needs to be done quickly.
    Quote Message: What we would do is add one penny on to income tax and ringfence the money from that to spend specifically on the health service.
  11. 'We would want another 10,000 GPs by 2025'

    UKIP's John Bickley says his party would invest heavily in the NHS if they came to power.

    John Bickley

    He says:

    Quote Message: We will put £11bn per year by the end of the next parliament into the NHS and social care.
    Quote Message: We would want another 10,000 GPs by 2025, we would want to lift the cap on medical training places, and we would want to see another 20,000 nurses and 3,000 midwives.
  12. 'Vast majority who use NHS think they get excellent service'

    Conservative Nigel Evans says the NHS should be the responsibility of whichever party is in power.

    Nigel Evans

    He says:

    Quote Message: I believe the government of the day is the one that is in charge of the National Health Service and at the end of the period, people will make a judgement as to whether it works or not.
    Quote Message: The vast majority of people who get service from the National Health Service think they get an excellent service - I've got two members of my own family who are currently receiving treatment from it.
    Quote Message: But the fact is the demands on it have increased dramatically over a period of time.
  13. 'We are willing to work with other parties'

    The Green Party's Stephanie Pitchers agrees with Becky Forest's suggestion for a cross-party solution to the NHS.

    Stephanie Pitchers

    She says:

    Quote Message: We are willing to work with other parties so we can come to an agreement on things like the NHS.
    Quote Message: We are more than happy to form a coalition with certain parties who share some of our ideals.
  14. 'Is it time for a cross-party solution to the problems in the NHS?'

    Becky Forest has a question on the NHS and the way it has "struggled to cope with acute changes by successive governments".

    She asks: "Isn’t it time it was managed by a cross-party commission to improve resilience and continuity?”

    Becky Forest
  15. Brexit 'means leave the EU full stop'

    UKIP's John Bickley says his party simply want to see Brexit delivered.

    He says:

    We need to get on with it.

    Quote Message: All this nonsense with hard Brexit, extreme Brexit, Teresa May's Brexit - this is just politicking.
    Quote Message: The British people said we want to leave the EU and that means leave the EU full stop, not stay in the EU Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and leave on Thursday, Friday, Saturday.
    Quote Message: All those people that are still here from the EU, please stay, we want you to stay. That has been UKIP's position all along.
  16. 'It is shameful that we are treating people in this country like this'

    Labour's Lisa Nandy picks up on Nigel Evans' point and wonders why the prime minister has not clarified the situation.

    She says:

    Quote Message: It would be in her gift tomorrow to guarantee the rights of EU nationals in the UK.
    Quote Message: I think it is shameful that we are treating people in this country for a long time like this, but it's also disastrous for our public services.
    Quote Message: The NHS in particular that attracts a huge number of doctors and nurses from the EU and applications have now dropped off.
  17. 'Common sense' to keep people as they are

    Conservative Nigel Evans is asked about Astrid Johnson's Brexit worries.

    He says:

    Quote Message: It's common sense to say everybody should stay and live and work exactly where they are.
  18. 'It would be in our best interests to remain in the single market'

    The Green Party's Stephanie Pitchers it does not "necessarily" follow that after a Conservative Brexit, EU citizens will be allowed to stay, live and work in the UK.

    She says:

    Quote Message: If we face a hard Brexit, then we could face EU citizens who don't know where they stand.
    Quote Message: We don't need to leave the single market - 52% of things that are made in the North West go to EU countries, so it would be in our best interests to remain in the single market and to keep free movement of people.
  19. 'We welcome you and we thank you'

    Lisa Smart of the Liberal Democrats says it is "desperately unfair" that people like Astrid Johnson are being used in such a way.

    She says:

    Quote Message: What we would do is guarantee your rights to stay here.
    Quote Message: You are contributing, so many people are contributing and we welcome you and we thank you.
  20. 'Why am I a Brexit bargaining chip?'

    A question comes from audience member Astrid Johnson on the topic of Brexit.

    She says she is an EU national who has been living in England for 20 years, bringing up an English stepdaughter and working and volunteering.

    She asks: "Why am I a bargaining chip?"

    Astrid Johnson