Election 2017: North West Norfolk candidates talk terrorism, Brexit and health at King’s Lynn general election hustings

North West Norfolk candidates (L - R) Michael de Whalley (Green), Rupert Moss-Eccardt (Lib Dem), Hen

North West Norfolk candidates (L - R) Michael de Whalley (Green), Rupert Moss-Eccardt (Lib Dem), Henry Bellingham (Conservative), David Blackmore, Jo Rust (Labour) and Michael Stone (UKIP). Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

North West Norfolk candidates answered questions on Brexit, health and terrorism at a hustings in King's Lynn.

More than 100 people attended the event in London Road Methodist Church to submit questions to Jo Rust (Labour), Henry Bellingham (Conservative), Rupert Moss-Eccardt (Liberal Democrat), Michael de Whalley (Green) and Michael Stone (UKIP).

They were questioned on whether means-tested social care should include the asset value of a person's house. Currently, a person pays their social care if they have wealth of more than £23,500 which does not include the value of their home.

Mr Bellingham insisted that no one will lose their home while they are alive. Theresa May is looking to increase the threshold to £100,000 which will include the value of a person's house.

But Mr De Whalley believes means testing is 'fundamentally wrong and arbitrary,' with Mrs Rust agreeing that the policy will place a huge burden on the NHS.

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On Brexit, when quizzed on the £50bn fee to leave the EU, all candidates agreed the fee was extortionate except Mr Bellingham, who said it would be 'unrealistic' to not expect a 'divorce fee'. Both the Green and Liberal Democrat candidates suggested a second referendum as part of the negotiation process.

All candidates stated more conversations needed to be had over mental health and for it to be taken as seriously as physical health.

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Mr Stone said the mental health service was being treated as a 'Cinderella service' where people needing treatment are waiting too long to be seen and being taken too far for a bed.

When asked who would be the best person to tackle terrorism, Mr Moss-Eccardt said leaving the EU has meant the UK will not be privy to intelligence from the Schengen Information System, which collates data on individuals for national security purposes, which he said puts the UK in a more vulnerable position.

Mr Belllingham said the Conservatives would 'beef up' counterterrorism laws like the Prevent strategy and Mr de Whalley believes better integration of immigrant children could help detect early radicalisation.

Mrs Rust said UK wars in the Middle East have contributed to terrorism and the Labour Party would suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

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