In Brief

Who said what during the Question Time election special?

Politicians clashed on Brexit and housing in front of an audience of under-30s

Politicians from the main parties clashed on housing, climate change and the issue of trust during last night’s under-30s’ Question Time election special.

The Conservatives’ Robert Jenrick, Labour’s shadow education secretary Angela Rayner and Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson appeared in front of the audience.

They were joined by the Scottish National Party’s (SNP) Humza Yousaf, Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price, Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley and Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage.

The discussion got most heated when Labour’s Rayner clashed with Farage over a poster he unveiled during the 2016 referendum campaign, which she described as racist. Rayner told the Brexit Party leader to “stop peddling hate in our country”, but Farage dismissed the allegation and accused the Labour politician of “bile and prejudice”.

BBC political correspondent Sean Curran said: “At times it was lively and bad tempered, with the politicians talking over one another as they tried to win over younger voters.”

When the issue of trust in politicians was raised, the panel were asked how they would rebuild it.

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Price said he would introduce a bill to “make lying by politicians a criminal offence”. Rayner added: “I won't lie and I'll call out the people who do.”

Jenrick said he would “deliver the outcome of the referendum”, while Swinson said she would “stick to my principles” on Brexit “whether it is popular or not”.

Farage revealed during the debate that he would spoil his ballot during Thursday’s election. He said: “Spoiling your ballot paper is a form of voting... I would never stay at home.”

Questioned on the reform of the electoral system, Bartley described the current system as “broken”, while Farage and Rayner found something to agree about, saying that they both want to abolish the House of Lords.

On climate change, Jenrick said that he would not use the state to coerce people away from eating meat, leading Swinson to win some applause for highlighting that the Tories “literally abolished the department for climate change”. 

In one of the evening’s stranger moments, Rayner was forced to deny that Labour would nationalise sausages as part of its response to the climate crisis.

When the issue of housing was raised, the panel were asked what age they were when they brought their own home. Farage was the youngest, buying a property at 22-year’s-old, and Price was the oldest at 30. 

When host Emma Barnett asked the audience of under-30s how many of them owned their own house, only a handful put their hands up.

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