Statement on Clifton with Maidenway Hustings
We would like to thank Torbay Weekly for their offer to host an online Hustings for the Clifton with Maidenway by-elections. Because of time demands, they asked if we could help by contacting the three other candidates and agreeing to a date for the event.
We contacted the Liberal Democrats, Conservative Party and the Green Party. To date, we have only had one reply. The Conservative Party stated, “We thank you for the invitation for our Candidate, John Fellows, to participate, however, our campaign team feel, that with the campaigning and the incredible response we have had from our surveys, that we have managed to reach the majority of residents in the Ward.
We, therefore, feel taking part in any hustings will not provide us with any further information.”
Despite emailing Cat Johns and the help of Cllr Jermaine Atiya-alla, who said “I will pass your contact details on to her or the agent.” The Lib Dem candidate did not even respond to our enquiry. Neither have we heard from the Green Party candidate.
The Electoral Commission describe Hustings as “A meeting where election candidates or parties debate policies and answer questions from the audience. Hustings provide voters with an opportunity to hear the views of candidates or parties.
When all candidates or parties standing are invited, a hustings does not promote any particular candidate or party because they all have the opportunity to speak and be questioned.”
This was Labour’s intention. We wanted to give the people of Clifton with Maidenway the best opportunity to listen and question the people they will be voting for on 6th May. Hustings are part of the democratic tradition and it would be regrettable if the other three Parties are not prepared to debate their ideas, views and policies in public.
We have very little time left to arrange a Hustings. We appeal to the Lib Dems, Conservatives and Green Party to do the right thing by agreeing to give the people of Clifton with Maidenway an opportunity to engage in a debate before casting their vote to one of the candidates.