Preston general election debate gives YOU the chance to quiz the politicians

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Preston residents are being given the chance to put the city’s prospective MPs on the spot ahead of next month's general election.

The Lancashire Post is co-hosting a hustings event on Monday 17th June - a chance for you to hear from the candidates vying for your vote in the constituency, all 10 of whom have been invited to take part.

It will be staged in the University of Central Lancashire’s Foster building - in the Mitchell and Kenyon theatre - between 7pm and 9pm (doors open at 6.30pm). Parking is free in the university's car parks after 6pm.

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If you would like to attend and ask a question on local or national issues, you need to register by clicking here.   Places are limited and allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.  

If you can’t make it in person, you can still put a poser to the people who want to represent you in Parliament.   Just keep an eye on the Facebook and X/Twitter pages of the media titles that have teamed up to host the gathering - the Lancashire Post, Blog Preston and the Lancashire Lead - all this week, where you will be able submit your questions.

A flavour of the answers - and a video of the full debate, hosted by local democracy reporter Paul Faulkner - will be available in coverage of the hustings across next week.

The organisers of the event, staged in association with the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS), are encouraging voters to get involved - irrespective of whether or not they have made up their minds about where they will be placing their cross.  

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The Lancashire Post’s digital editor Vanessa Sims said “It’s great to be teaming up with Blog Preston and The Lancashire Lead on an event that will give the people of Preston the opportunity to hear directly what candidates think on the issues important to them ahead of the election. 

“This is your chance to hear first hand what their priorities will be if they get elected.”

Founder of Blog Preston CIC and co-editor, Ed Walker, added: "The level of debate online about elections can be increasingly hostile, so it's important people have a safe, moderated and fair space to hear directly from candidates.

"We are glad to be working with the Post and The Lead to put on these events to ensure candidates are asked the tough questions and see how they fare when faced with real people asking about real issues."

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Meanwhile, Luke Beardsworth, senior editor (North) for The Lead, said the hustings will help residents make sense of an election “that came sooner than many of us expected”.

"Anything that can help people feel empowered by the process of democracy - and to make an informed decision on who to give their vote - is a really important step.

"Plenty of people will consider their mind made up on who they vote for - and plenty won't. Either way, this will be the best chance to make up your mind on who deserves your vote on 4th July."

Electoral boundaries mean that while most of the Preston City Council area falls within the Preston parliamentary constituency, residents of four wards - Greyfrairs, Sharoe Green, Preston Rural North and Preston Rural East - will be voting for candidates in the Ribble Valley seat at this election.   

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The full list of candidates standing in the Preston constituency is:

Yousuf Bhailok – Independent

David Brooks – Alliance for Democracy and Freedom

Neil Darby – Liberal Democrats

James Elliot – Reform UK

Trevor Hart – Conservative Party

Sir Mark Hendrick (sitting MP until 30th May) – Labour and Co-operative Party

Derek Killeen – UK Independence Party

Michael Lavalette – Independent

Isabella Metcalf-Riener – Green Party

Joseph O’Meachair – Rejoin EU

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