Same sex marriage, “horrendous levels of immigration” and race laws were all hotly debated by Wycombe’s parliamentary candidates in a Question Time event on Thursday.

Heckling, jeering and booing filled the hall of John Hampden Grammar School, in Marlow Hill, as Wycombe MP, Steve Baker, went head-to-head with four of his main rivals in this year’s General Election.

Sitting on stage tackling the big questions with the Conservative MP was Labour candidate David Williams, Lib Dem challenger Steve Guy, Green Party representative Jem Bailey and from UKIP, David Meacock.

The event, designed to get young people engaged with politics, was sold out and there was an energetic atmosphere as politicians were put through the ringer, not just by each other, but by the audience.

As the evening’s debate progressed, it was UKIP’s representative on the panel that evoked the most vocal reactions from the crowd.

When faced with a question about race laws, Mr Meacock told the audience he thought employers should be able to hire who they wish – and if that means favouring a “British” worker over another, that is fine.

He said: “I think we have got to have laws which give employers freedom to actually run their business.”

Mr Meacock said he wanted to abolish race laws prohibiting who employers can employ and then, if a problem does arise, new laws can be introduced in the future.

In response, Mr Guy asked the audience to look at the Bristol Bus Boycott in the 1930s.

Bristol Omnibus Company refused to employ black or Asian bus crews. The company had to back down after a four-month boycott.

When Mr Meacock said that was not what he meant, Mr Guy told him to “shut up”, which evoked cheers from the crowd.

Mr Meacock added that people “living here” should be employed “rather than adding to the horrendous levels of immigration”.

Wycombe MP, Steve Baker, said: “There are people out there with unreasoning hatred in them and we must protect everybody within the law.”

While questions posed to the panel included topics such as lowering the voting age and university tuition fees, it was a rogue query about Mr Meacock’s views on gay marriage that was most contentious.

Mr Meacock said: “I believe that marriage should be between one female and one male.

“Marriage isn’t just about people that love each other and live together... a big part of marriage is the procreation of children.”

He added: “The child needs a mother and a father.”

Mr Baker said that he thought it was “no business of government” whether two people who are gay want to marry each other.

This year’s General Election is gearing up to be one of the hardest to call.

With minority groups on the rise, one young audience member asked the panel whether they thought Labour and the Conservatives have abandoned their traditional values.

Mr Williams said: “Labour remains true to its roots because we are a party for the people.”

Mr Bailey pointed at the increased divide between the wealthy and poor as a reason why votes for minority governments might be on the rise.

The Green Party candidate said the divide had “never been so great”, adding that, while the Conservatives boast about creating jobs, this is largely down to Zero Hour Contracts.

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