Shropshire Star

What Shrewsbury's MP candidates told teenage students about National Service at college hustings

A hustings held on Friday allowed Shrewsbury college students to quiz the town's parliamentary candidates.

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Around 200 students and staff joined six of Shrewsbury's parliamentary candidates in a hustings event on Friday, June 21.

The event saw the Conservatives' Daniel Kawczynski, Labour's Julia Buckley and the Liberal Democrats' Alex Wagner join Julian Dean from the Green Party, independent James Gollins, and Mark Whittle, the North Shropshire Reform candidate who was standing in for Shrewsbury's Victor Applegate.

The candidates were pressed on a number of issues by the students.

Each candidate presented their party's vision and policies before opening the floor to student questions on a range of topics, including public transport, flooding, the defunding of certain vocational courses, the voting age being lowered to 16 and the proposed National Service policy.

The candidates were pressed on a number of issues by the students.

At the end of May, Rishi Sunak shocked most of the country when he proposed that all 18-year-olds would be forced to take part in National Service if the party wins the General Election on July 4.

While many students at the hustings weren't quite of voting age, many were keen to hear what the candidates thought of the plan that would likely impact the majority of them.

Tomoya Kitchen delivers a question at the event.

Up first, Lib Dem Alex Wagner told the room that the Tories were "completely aware it isn't a serious political policy" and called it an "absolutely desperate ploy". "It's totally mad," he added.

Liberal Democrat candidate Alex Wagner.

Next on the stage was the only candidate in support of the policy, Daniel Kawczynski, who told the students that the "biggest mistake" he had made was not continuing with his studies to become an officer in the navy.