BBC Question Time at University of York – Key points

9 Dec 2019 @ 10.56 pm
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While we were watching York’s candidates debate in the local hustings some senior politicians slugged it out in the BBC Question Time Election Special – Under 30s debate at the University of York tonight.

The panel was:

Labour’s shadow education secretary Angela Rayner
SNP and Scotland’s justice secretary Humza Yousaf
Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson
Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price
Green Party leader Jonathan Bartley
Brexit Party co-leader Nigel Farage
Tories’ housing secretary Robert Jenrick

You can watch the whole thing on the BBC iPlayer here.

Here’s a summary of the debate summarised from the BBC’s own coverage.

  • Nigel Farage revealed he will spoil his ballot paper on Thursday. In his constituency, the Brexit Party – the party he leads – isn’t standing, and he won’t vote Conservative.
  • The Green Party’s Jonathan Bartley said the electoral system was “broken”, while Mr Farage and Labour’s Angela Rayner agreed that they both want to abolish the House of Lords. Jo Swinson said she’d love to have a system where people don’t feel they need to vote tactically
  • Brexit – The Conservatives’ Robert Jenrick refused to take any responsibility for the “mess” of Brexit over the last few years, while Labour’s Ms Rayner did not say whether she would back Leave or Remain in any new referendum, saying she wants to see what deal her party negotiates
  • Jo Swinson was pushed on whether opposing Brexit and wanting another vote is undemocratic – but she said she was “not going to change my beliefs”. Mr Farage accused the Lib Dems for breaking their word, after ex-leader Paddy Ashdown promised to respect the referendum result. And Plaid Cymru’s Adam Price – whose party also wants another referendum – was asked what evidence he has that people in Wales have changed their mind. “The opinion polls show a shift,” he said
  • Climate change – The Conservatives’ Robert Jenrick says it’s unlikely there would be state intervention to stop people from eating meat but the government had done a “huge amount” on climate change. Ms Swinson got a clap for saying to Mr Jenrick: “You literally abolished the department for climate change.”