PROSPECTIVE parliamentary candidates faced a grilling from sixth formers at Sir William Borlase's School in a debate styled around BBC One's Question Time.

Current Beaconsfield MP Dominic Grieve, Conservative, Jeremy Miles, Labour, Steve Guy, Lib Dems, Jem Bailey, Green Party, and Delphine Gray-Fisk, UKIP, all featured on Wednesday.

The politicians clashed over the economy, the rail strike, university tuition fees and other topical issues.

Lib Dem Steve Guy attacked Tory policy on the economy.

He said his party had warned about “irresponsible” lending and said the economy was 'built in a bubble' and “that’s how we got where we are today”.

The Conservatives' ' tough approach' in 1979 to debt resulted in unemployment going “through the roof and the recession was deeper and longer than it needed to be,” Mr Guy claimed.

He added the choice was how and when the cuts should be made.

Dominic Grieve responded: “The fact is that the turn around to our national economy which took place in the 1980s was what saved this country and put it on an economic footing which actually made the Blair years possible.

“That’s why there was so much money to spend.”

He said the Labour model of further borrowing would not work it “is dependent on foreign money lenders being prepared to fund us”.

The credit rating of the country will be “downgraded the day Labour wins”, he claimed.

“With a debt which is going to approach £1.3trillion if they turn off the tap there won’t be any more money for the funding the government wants.”

Mr Miles responded by saying George Osborne “is the Achilles heel of the Conservative Party.”

He said: “We have a shadow chancellor for whom the centrepiece of the economic strategy is an inheritance tax cut for 2,000 of the richest people in the UK and for that to have any priority in any discussion about tax preferences I think is just shocking.”

Mr Bailey said the Greens would look at restructuring the tax system and said were many examples where money could be saved such as on motorway widening and ID cards.

The panel also discussed the Cookham Bed and Breakfast owners who turned away a gay couple as featured in last week's Marlow Free Press.

Mr Miles said: “I thought it was pretty disgraceful behaviour on their part.”

Delphine Gray-Fisk said: “It is their own home and they have a right to choose in respect of sexual orientation or whatever who actually enter that home.”

Steve Guy said as a Christian himself: “I cant help feeling that the couple who run the guest house behaved in a distinctly unchristian way.”

One of the liveliest moments came on a question about cuts to arts funding as Mrs Gray-Fisk said: “Provided they are genuine arts, not just rap music or something then I think they should certainly be encouraged and do need some funding.”

Lib Dem Steve Guy was applauded for questioning “Why is a modern form of music any less worthy of funding than classical music?”

Student Hugh Stevens stepped into David Dimbleby's chairman role.

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THE Liberal Democrats took a resounding 60 per cent of the vote at a ballot following a Sixth Form Question Time style debate.

Year 13 students at Sir William Borlase's Grammar School in West Street, Marlow, put questions to prospective parliamentary candidates and then put a cross in the box for the one who impressed them most.

Around 80 per cent of those who voted will be eligible to vote in the upcoming election.

The results were: 1) Liberal Democrats 83

2) Conservatives 39

3)Labour 11

4)Green Party 4

5) UKIP 1