The Lincoln Debate 2017: Candidates’ reactions

The Lincoln Debate on June 5 attracted a large audience of Lincoln voters, each armed with questions for six out of the seven Lincoln MP candidates.

The candidates taking part in the 100-minute programme, which was streamed live on The Lincolnite and BBC Radio Lincolnshire, were:

  • Ben Loryman – Green Party
  • Karen Lee – Labour
  • Caroline Kenyon – Liberal Democrats
  • Nick Smith – UKIP
  • Iain Scott-Burdon – Independent
  • Phil Gray – Independent

Karl McCartney, the Conservative MP candidate, declined the invitation to attend the debate, citing unfounded accusations of media bias against him.

He also refused to attend the first landmark debate event in 2015.

Giving their reactions after the event had concluded, the candidates agreed that the debate was a success.

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Labour’s candidate Karen Lee said: “I really enjoyed it and I think it gave us a chance to discuss all the different challenges that are facing us in the country and in Lincoln as well.”

Green Party candidate Ben Loryman added: “I thought the NHS Dentistry was the one that I felt most ashamed not to have answered as fluently as I would have liked to have done.”

Caroline Kenyon, Liberal Democrat candidate said: “All the questions were interesting and made me think in different ways and actually sometimes the simple ones like ‘how would you like to be remembered?’ are the hardest.”

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

UKIP’s Nick Smith said: “Obviously the questions are very difficult at the time but I think I did fairly well. To recall all your technical data about the amounts of money and so on is quite complicated but I think I did well.”

Independent Iain Scott-Burdon, who is registered deaf and uses British Sign Language had interpreters during the event. He said: “I think it has been a really good debate, I have never done anything like this before.

“The last three debates I was invited to, I failed to come because I didn’t have access to interpreters so this was the first time I felt fully engaged and I am so happy I was here.”

Finally Phil Gray, another Independent candidate added: “I think I handled the questions reasonably well. It is always a pressured situation because you have so little time to develop your thoughts but I think it went well.”