THERE was standing room only at a hustings event in Ilkley this week as 300 people gathered to hear to views of the parliamentary candidates standing for election in the Keighley constituency.

The event was organised by Churches Together in Ilkley (CTI) and was held at All Saints Church on Monday evening.

Five of the six candidates standing came to be asked questions by the audience on a range of topics including the NHS, education and the environment.

Questions of local importance were also raised including on social care provision and on agriculture policy post Brexit. In a constituency where John Grogan’s majority in 2017 was just 249 there was a pertinent question on tactical voting from a Liberal Democrat supporter.

The candidates were given two minutes to make their opening pitch before the chair, Simon Myers, opened the questions by asking for the candidates most admired politician from another party. Responses included Theresa May, Nick Clegg, Nicola Sturgeon,

John Grogan (Labour) chose former prime minister Theresa May, Robbie Moore (Conservative) picked Nick Clegg and Tom Franks (Liberal Democrat) went for Caroline Lucas of the Green Party. Mark Barton, representing the Yorkshire Party, plumped for the late Tony Benn while Matthew Rose of the Social Democrat Party picked Nicola Sturgeon.

The candidates finished with a final short pitch for the votes of the audience and stayed on after the meeting to respond to individual questions.

A recording of the evening is available at

*Waqas Ali Khan is also standing in the Keighley constituency for the Brexit Party but did not attend the hustings.

* Voters will go to the polls across Wharfedale on Thursday, December 12.

Five candidates will contest the Shipley seat, which includes Menston and Burley-in-Wharfedale: Philip Davies (Conservative) , Celia Hickson (Green Party), Caroline Rosemary Jones (Liberal Democrats), Darren James Longhorn (Yorkshire Party), Jo Pike (Labour).

Leeds North West candidates are: Alex Sobel (Labour and Co-operative Party), Stewart Harper, (Conservative), Martin Hemingway (Green Party), Kamran Hussain, (Liberal Democrats) and Graeme Webber, (Brexit Party).

In the Pudsey constituency Stuart Andrew, of the Conservative Party, will defend the seat he has held since May 2010.

Candidates standing in the constituency are Jane Aitchison, (Labour Party), Bob Buxton (Yorkshire Party), Quinn Daley (Green Party) and Ian Dowling ( Liberal Democrats).