A weekly newspaper has held its first ever Question Time-style event for readers to quiz parliamentary candidates, which was live-streamed on its website.
The family-owned Stratford-upon-Avon Herald held the hustings event to allow local people to find out more about the five candidates standing in the Stratford constituency.
It was held at Stratford College and tickets were snapped up by readers for the debate, which was chaired by the Herald’s political correspondent Preston Witts.
In Stratford, one of David Cameron’s Downing Street advisors, Nadhim Zahawi, is fighting to retain his seat against Professor Jeff Kenner for Labour, Elizabeth Adams for the Liberal Democrats, Dominic Giles for the Green Party and Edward Fila for UKIP.
Said Preston: “This is the first time that the Stratford Herald has held a Question Time-style debate during a general election campaign. It has generated considerable local interest, with a big demand for tickets.
“Although the Stratford-on-Avon constituency is historically one of the safest Conservative seats in the country, this is an unusual election at national level and the campaign locally has been livened up by the fact that UKIP is standing here.”
Preston is a former lobby correspondent in Parliament, initially for newspapers and later for television and he covered the Conservative Party conference in 1984 in Brighton when the IRA bomb ripped through the Grand Hotel.
He was working as a reporter for TVS and secured the only television interview with Denis Thatcher, which was used in every ITN bulletin that day.