The Speaker
Wednesday, 29 May 2024 – 21:32

Politicians discuss key topics in BBC Election Debate

Senior figures from seven of the UK’s major political parties have challenged each other in a televised BBC debate on Friday.

The debate was attended by the Conservatives’ Chief Secretary to the Treasury Rishi Sunak, Labour’s shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey, Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson, SNP leader and First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon, Caroline Lucas for the Green Party, Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price and Richard Tice for the Brexit Party. 

The debate came just hours after a major incident on London Bridge, which is being treated as terror-related. The politicians paid tributes to the bravery of emergency services and members of the public that intervened in the incident and said their thoughts were with all those involved, including those who were injured and the families of those who were tragically killed in the attack. 

At the start of the programme, the politicians laid out their pledges on security, with all discussing the need for more police officers on the streets.

The rest of the debate focused on issues including immigration, Brexit, the NHS, the environment and the economy. The politicians were also asked whether they would ever use nuclear weapons – Richard Tice, Rishi Sunak, Jo Swinson, Rebecca Long-Bailey responded with a ‘Yes’, with some adding ‘if necessary’ or under certain circumstances, while Nicola Sturgeon, Caroline Lucas, Adam Price gave an answer of ‘No’.

Some key moments included Rishi Sunak saying that the idea that the NHS was up for sale and could be under threat in post-Brexit trade talks was a “conspiracy theory”. Multiple other politicians at the debate expressed their concern over the NHS potentially being ‘on the table’ in trade talks and referred to a 451-page dossier showing initial talks had taken place. The audience at the debate was fairly quiet – the most applause seemed to be directed at the leader of Welsh party Plaid Cymru, Adam Price – but then the debate was held in Cardiff.

Tweet us your thoughts on the BBC Election Debate @speakerpolitics

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