I very much enjoyed chairing an election hustings for the independent candidates and minor parties in Maidenhead at the 2017 General Election.  Four of the 13 candiates turned up: Julian Reid, The Just Party / Independent; Grant Smith, Independent; Andrew Knight, Animal Welfare Party; Lord Buckethead, Independent.

 

We planned the agenda so that each candidate had 3 minutes to introduce themselves, followed by a series of pre-notified questions, on which they each had one minute to respond. It was interesting how there was a level of agreement between them on most issues. Notably they expressed concerns about Brexit, were opposed to a 3rd runway at Heathrow, also opposed to the re-introduction of fox hunting,  and wanted to see more social housing. It seemed to me that there was a desire to begin carving out a new centre ground that had been vacated by the two major parties. Generally, it was a positive discussion, unlike the main television debates, and  in true British tradition, very good humoured!

The event was organised with the support of the Maidenhead Advertiser. The winning candidate in Maidenhead was Theresa May, currently Prime Minister.

Since the election, one of the candidates - no prizes for guessing which - went viral on the Internet with videos filmed at this hustings and got a level of publicity from YouTube that would make many politicians quite green-eyed.