More than 100 people attend hustings to hear from candidates standing in Blackpool South by-elections speak

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The debate was umpired by the Gazette's Local Democracy Reporter Shelagh Parkinson.

Hundreds of people attended Blackpool Cricket club on Thursday to hear from the candidates standing in Blackpool South by-elections

The hustings, put on by The Gazette and The Blackpool Lead, gave people the chance to hear from each candidate and ask their questions.

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The hustings gave people the chance to hear from each candidate and ask their questionsThe hustings gave people the chance to hear from each candidate and ask their questions
The hustings gave people the chance to hear from each candidate and ask their questions | National World

 The election was triggered by the resignation of former Conservative MP Scott Benton.

Mr Benton had been sitting as an independent MP for Blackpool South after losing the Tory whip over a lobbying scandal.

The by-election will take place on 2 May, when local elections will also be held.

All candidates standing were invited to take part.

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Vanessa Sims, editor of The Gazette, said: “Thank you to all who attended tonight’s event.

“I thought we had a really great debate about the key issues affecting Blackpool South and the wider town in 2024.

“A hustings like this is really important and is what The Gazette stands for. Giving local people the chance to have their say on the things that matter to them.

“The thing the stood out to me the most was how passionate people are about Blackpool and making the town the very best it can be not only today but in the future.”

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Full coverage of the event will be available on The Gazette’s website and social media channels as well as on The Blackpool Lead.

List of candidates

- Stephen Black (Independent); 

- Mark Butcher (Reform UK);

- Andrew Cregan (Lib Dems);

- Howling Laud Hope (The Official Monster Raving Loony Party); Not in attendance

- David Jones (Conservative);

- Kim Knight (Alliance for Democracy and Freedom); 

- Damon Sharp (New Open Non-Political Organised Leadership); Not in attendance

- Ben Thomas (Green Party).

- Chris Webb (Labour)

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