North Norfolk voters quiz candidates at General Election hustings

Duncan Baker, the Conservative candidate for North Norfolk in the 2019 General Election at a husting

Duncan Baker, the Conservative candidate for North Norfolk in the 2019 General Election at a hustings at Stalham Baptist Church. Picture: Stuart Anderson - Credit: Archant

With marginal seats such as north Norfolk becoming a key focus for all parties, there was everything to fight for at a hustings in the district.

The public event, which was held at a packed Cromer Parish Church on Wednesday evening, was the second of four planned hustings which would see Harry Gwynne (Brex), Duncan Baker (Con), Emma Corlett (Lab) and Karen Ward (Lib Dem) answering questions put to them by the public.

Topics covered at the public meeting included Brexit, health, the environment and taxation.

Each topic was covered within a 10 minute window, giving each candidate the opportunity to answer questions put to them.

On the topic of Brexit, the Lib Dem and Labour candidates both agreed the public should have a right to change their mind, while the Conservative and Brexit Party candidates both backed leaving the European Union.

Mrs Ward said: "I can't say what the rest of the country is doing but I can say what I am hearing in north Norfolk, I saw a shift once we got to August when no deal came onto the table."

One member of the public sent each of the candidates an email asking them to sign a pledge to protect the NHS, which only Mrs Corlett signed.

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Mrs Ward said she would have signed the letter if she had seen it in her email inbox, while Mr Baker and Mr Gwynne said they would have to read the pledge.

The Brexit Party candidate said: "I actually think [the NHS] is an area we can work together on, all of the parties. One of the areas that we all agree on, Keeping the NHS free at the point of consumption."

On the subject of mental health, Mr Baker said: "One of the other priorities is matching physical health with mental health and I think that is incredibly important."

When asked about climate change all candidates agreed that some form of action was needed.

Mrs Corlett said: "Our aim is to net zero in early 2030 as we think 2050 is too late. It is a crisis so we feel that urgent action is needed."