The Havering Daily held its Dagenham and Rainham hustings event on Monday 9th December at the Mardyke Community centre.
The event was a success with many members of the community turning out to listen to the candidates discuss everything from local to national issues.
All candidates except one were present, the Conservative candidate Councillor Damian White did not attend.
Candidates were grilled on topics such as Brexit, the over development in Rainham and the building on green spaces.
The event was hosted by Councillor Graham Williamson, a Residents Association Councillor in South Hornchurch.
The audience were keen to challenge the candidates on topics such as knife crime, following the recent stabbing in Rainham last Friday night and a possible second Brexit referendum.
With Havering and Dagenham being one of the highest areas in the country for Brexit voters, the second vote, or people’s vote as it’s being called was not popular amongst the audience. Members of the crowd actually shouted out ‘you’re in the wrong area for that’, as Green Candidate Azzees Minott spoke about the idea of a possible second referendum.
Event attender from Rainham, Ronnie told the Havering Daily:
“I enjoyed the event, it was good to get the chance to actually see all the candidates and have the opportunity to hear for myself what they have to say.
“I hadn’t made my mind up who to vote for but after this event I definitely know who has my vote.”
Labour candidate Jon Cruddas was keen to point out the fact that despite being accused of not backing the Brexit deal put forward by Boris Johnson, he showed a letter to the audience by the Prime Minister thanking him for backing the Brexit deal.
Brexit Parties Tom Bewick came across well and as expected was very clear on his position on Brexit saying.
‘It’s a choice between a Brexiteer with Boris Johnson’s ‘deal’ (John Cruddas) or a Brexiteer with a WTO deal, me.’
Councillor Graham Williamson told the Havering Daily:
“I would like to thank the Havering Daily and the Mardyke Youth Community Centre for sponsoring and hosting the event. I would also like to thank the candidates who attended for opening themselves up to scrutiny and being so articulate and interesting. It was instructive that they all agreed that our present political system is broken and that change is required.
“I was personally disappointed however that the Council Leader didn’t attend as any budding MP should share their thoughts with those they seek to represent.
“All in all the event was worthwhile and hopefully will assist voters in making up their mind for whom they should vote.”
Here is a link to the live stream in case you missed it.