Claire Vennis introduces our Election Questions hustings event from a packed St Peter’s Church in Petersfield.

At the event, candidates standing in the East Hampshire constituency in the general election answered questions from local people including Shine Radio listeners.

The chair is the vicar of St Peter’s, the Reverend Canon Will Hughes.

Our panel comprises:

  • Damian Hinds – Conservative
  • Matthew Kellerman – Reform UK
  • Richard Knight – The Green Party
  • Jim Makin – Hampshire Independents
  • Dominic Martin – Liberal Democrat
  • Lucy Sims – Labour

We also invited Sara Smith, candidate for the Social Democratic Party to participate.

You can see information about the general election in our area on this special page which we’re keeping updated as polling day approaches.

General election candidates and Election Questions chairman, Canon Will Hughes
Claire Vennis with your questions to the candidates
Claire Vennis with your questions to the candidates
Behind the scenes - Shine Radio volunteers Gareth and Beth
Behind the scenes – Shine Radio volunteers Gareth and Beth

Fact check

We can all enjoy our own opinions but we cannot have our own facts.

Shine Radio journalist Gareth Boyes has checked claims and references made by candidates in the programme.

Here are his notes and links that add context and clarity.

00:03:37 – ONS figures suggest 9.7 million people are waiting for a hospital appointment or treatment: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2024/apr/03/almost-10-million-people-in-england-could-be-on-nhs-waiting-list

00:03:53 – There has been an overall reduction in levels of crime since 2010 excluding fraud and computer misuse. Although police-recorded crime is currently at record high levels, this does appear to partly be due to more people coming forward to report crimes.

00:03:55 – Data from December 2023 shows reading, maths and science scores are down on previous tests although not helped by COVID disruption: https://www.theguardian.com/education/2023/dec/05/uk-pupils-science-and-maths-scores-lowest-since-2006-in-international-tests

00:13:05 – Information about the World Economic Forum (WEF): https://www.britannica.com/topic/World-Economic-Forum

00:13:31 – The Fourth Industrial Revolution by Klaus Schwab is about rapid technological advancement in the 21st century. More information about the Fourth Industrial Revolution: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/01/the-fourth-industrial-revolution-what-it-means-and-how-to-respond/

00:13:36 – Added information about 15 minute cities: https://www.ucem.ac.uk/whats-happening/articles/15-minute-city/

00:13:50 – Yuval Noah Harari has warned about ethical and privacy concerns of “hackable humans”: https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2018/8/24/hackable-humans-and-digital-dictators-qa-with-yuval-noah-harari

00:15:14 – Carbon Dioxide is a heat-trapping gas. Levels in the atmosphere have increased by 100 ppm (parts per million) to 420 ppm since 1960: https://climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/carbon-dioxide/

00:16:03 – Polar Bears are considered currently vulnerable, Arctic sea ice cover is reducing by 14% per decade. Climate change has meant fewer opportunities to feed, fewer cubs and habitat fragmentation: https://www.worldwildlife.org/species/polar-bear

00:16:08 – Summer Arctic sea ice extent is shrinking by 12.2% per decade due to warmer temperatures: https://climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/arctic-sea-ice/

00:16:14 – Data has proved that sea levels are rising: https://climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/sea-level/

00:16:21 – Demand for properties in coastal areas isn’t decreasing due to a risk of rising sea levels: https://insights.som.yale.edu/insights/study-rising-seas-arent-causing-coastal-property-values-to-decline

00:16:45 – The WEF facilitates dialogue on global issues but does not have legislative or enforcement powers and the UN can only act within the framework agreed upon by its member states: https://www.un.org/en/about-us/un-charter/full-text

00:17:01 – The dictionary definition of fascism is a far-right, authoritarian, ultranationalist political ideology and movement, characterized by a dictatorial leader, centralised autocracy, militarism, forcible suppression of opposition, belief in a natural social hierarchy, subordination of individual interests for the perceived good of the nation or race, and strong regimentation of society and the economy: https://www.britannica.com/topic/fascism

00:21:58 – The figure of 8,985 hours of sewage from storm overflows flowing into water bodies in 2023 was for East Hampshire and this was during 601 spills: https://www.petersfieldpost.co.uk/uk/news/sewage-spills-in-east-hampshire-more-than-quadrupled-in-2023-677385

00:25:15 – Labour has committed to achieving 100% clean power by 2030 and has vowed not to issue any new oil and gas licenses: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/articles/c9xxpypr8d0o

https://www.spglobal.com/commodityinsights/en/market-insights/latest-news/energy-transition/022724-uk-labour-party-to-abolish-onshore-wind-ban-if-elected-miliband

00:28:12 – Guidelines have been published by the Government on political impartiality in schools: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/political-impartiality-in-schools/political-impartiality-in-schools

00:28:52 – Scientists agree that climate change is real and that human activity is the main reason for this: https://science.nasa.gov/climate-change/evidence/

00:32:49 – COVID-19 is a popular target for disinformation by conspiracy theorists. More than seven million people have died from strains of the COVID-19 virus: https://fullfact.org/health/SARS-CoV-2-does-exist/

00:41:07 – Additional information about the November 2021 loss of life of Asylum Seekers within the English Channel: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-59406355

00:43:33 – Additional information about £80bn boost for armaments: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2021/03/12/80bn-equipment-revealed-defence-review-tanks-jets-drones-hovering/

00:44:37 – Additional information about the UK’s Military assistance to Ukraine since the Russian invasion: https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-9477/

https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-9914

00:48:21 – Additional information about the Asylum backlog: https://fullfact.org/immigration/asylum-backlog/

00:48:28 – Additional information, Home Office officials have admitted they do not know the whereabouts of more than 17,000 asylum seekers whose claims have been discontinued: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-67567401

00:49:19 – Additional information, an independent inquiry was ordered by the UK Government in November 2023 after a report on the 2021 loss of life of Asylum Seekers within the English Channel has been published by the UK Government Marine Accident Investigation Branch: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-67361148

https://news.sky.com/story/migrants-were-on-an-entirely-unsuitable-vessel-when-27-died-in-channel-crossing-in-2021-report-13003537

00:52:16 – Additional information on Vietnamese Channel boat crossings: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2024/apr/26/what-is-the-real-story-behind-vietnamese-channel-boat-crossings

00:53:27 – The UK cannot currently return boats to France in the channel due to Brexit: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2024/04/24/leaving-echr-small-boat-crossings-lord-cameron

00:54:32 – Additional information on the money the UK has paid France to curb small boat crossings and how France is spending the money: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-64916446

https://www.politico.eu/article/helicopters-riding-boots-and-vacuum-cleaners-how-french-border-force-spends-uk-money

00:58:20 – Additional information around 600,000 fewer children growing up in working households, this number has increased by 600,000: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/1-5-key-worker-households-have-children-living-poverty

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/child-poverty-increases-benefit-cuts-public-sector-pay-freeze-government-tuc-study-a8337056.html

00:58:25 – While the percentage of good or outstanding schools risen to 90% there have been changes to the way schools are inspected making direct comparisons between these time periods difficult: https://fullfact.org/election-2024/school-ratings-explained/

00:58:32 – The latest data from 6 April 2023 shows 37,700 more doctors and over 52,400 more nurses now working in the NHS compared to 2010: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/record-doctors-and-nurses-working-in-the-nhs-helping-to-cut-waiting-lists

00:59:22 – Additional information on extending the windfall tax: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-68489807

01:00:16 – Neo-serfdom refers to a modern form of serfdom where people’s lives and freedoms are controlled by powerful global organisations and elites, however, the WEF facilitates dialogue on global issues but does not have legislative or enforcement powers.   and the UN can only act within the framework agreed upon by its member states: https://www.un.org/en/about-us/un-charter/full-text.  Here is more information on Neo-sefdom: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/slavic-review/article/neoserfdom-its-origin-and-nature-in-east-central-europe/0FF83D9EC2C03B495265088BF2302C49

01:03:35 – Additional information from 16 October 2024 about ‘Big Tech’ avoiding paying tax: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2023/oct/16/uk-lost-out-on-2bn-in-tax-in-2021-as-big-tech-shifted-profits-abroad-claim-campaigners

01:04:02 – Additional information on UK courts closing: https://www.theguardian.com/law/2019/sep/13/77-more-courts-in-england-and-wales-to-close
https://www.theguardian.com/law/2019/jan/27/half-of-magistrates-courts-in-england-and-wales-closed-since-tories-elected

01:04:44 – Figures from January 2019 suggested 8% of crimes were being prosecuted: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/crime-statistics-uk-justice-prosecution-rates-rape-victims-disclosure-police-funding-a8747191.html

01:05:29 – Additional information, statistics on rape cases being brought to justice – https://rapecrisis.org.uk/get-informed/statistics-sexual-violence/

01:06:11 – Additional information on the backlog in courts: [https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/contact-or-visit-us/press-office/press-releases/record-numbers-waiting-years-for-trial

01:06:37 – Additional information, statistics on knife crime from 13 October 2023: https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/sn04304/

01:06:47 – Additional information, 12 year old boy found guilty of machete murder: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/articles/cz99py9rgz5o

01:06:54 – Additional information on online sales of weapons: https://www.vice.com/en/article/vb598x/guns-ammo-sold-snapchat-uk

01:07:13 – Additional information, ‘Two teenagers jailed for boy’s mistaken-identity murder in Wolverhampton’: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2023/jul/13/two-teenagers-jailed-ronan-kanda-mistaken-identity-murder-wolverhampton

01:07:21 – Additional information, statistics on teenagers carrying knives in 2019 through research carried out by the BBC: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-46153257

01:08:01 – There has been an overall reduction in levels of crime since 2010 excluding fraud and computer misuse. Although police-recorded crime is currently at record high levels, this does appear to partly be due to more people coming forward to report crimes.  Statistics on levels of crime for the year ending December 2018 can be found here with graphs showing data between 1981 and December 2023: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice/bulletins/crimeinenglandandwales/yearendingdecember2023

01:09:12 – Additional information, Criminals leaving prison with job and accommodation are 10 times less likely to re-offend: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/07/04/criminals-leaving-prison-job-accommodation-10-times-less-likely/

01:10:58 – Additional information on hate speech and hate crime legislation: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/nov/04/uk-lawyers-uneasy-about-plan-to-prosecute-hate-speech-at-home

01:12:03 – Apprentices are paid on study days: https://www.gov.uk/employing-an-apprentice/pay-and-conditions-for-apprentices

01:12:05 – Additional information, for apprentices aged 16-18 as well as those 19 and over in their first year of the apprenticeship, the minimum wage is £6.40.  Those aged 19 or over and have completed their first year are entitled to the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage rate for their age.

01:15:24 – The origins of the Crown Prosecution Service (the CPS) are found in the Report of the Royal Commission on Criminal Procedure, chaired by Sir Cyril Philips, which was published in 1981. This was embodied in the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 which created the Crown Prosecution Service which then started to operate in 1986:
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5a7c761640f0b62aff6c1d45/3972.pdf.

01:16:08 – Police and Crime Commissioners are elected to make policing more accountable and give people a greater voice on police and crime matters. They set the strategy for policing, crime and disorder reduction and victim support: https://www.hampshire-pcc.gov.uk/commissioner/pcc-role

01:16:21 – Additional information on the high court ruling Britain’s climate action plan is unlawful: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/article/2024/may/03/britain-climate-action-plan-unlawful-high-court

01:16:54 – Labour has committed to achieving 100% clean power by 2030 and has vowed not to issue any new oil and gas licenses: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/articles/c9xxpypr8d0o,
https://www.spglobal.com/commodityinsights/en/market-insights/latest-news/energy-transition/022724-uk-labour-party-to-abolish-onshore-wind-ban-if-elected-miliband

01:17:29 – Additional information on the UK getting behind the rest of Europe on investing in clean energy: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/apr/27/uk-investment-in-clean-energy-transition-falls-10-bucking-global-trend (Article from 27 October 2023)

01:18:17 – Additional information on UK decarbonising faster than any other major economy to date: https://www.economist.com/britain/2021/02/15/how-britain-decarbonised-faster-than-any-other-rich-country (Article from 15 February 2021)

01:18:38 – Additional information on the UK being Europe’s leader in offshore wind, the UK account for roughly 20% of global offshore wind capacity: https://www.nortonrosefulbright.com/en/knowledge/publications/cd73eaf0/global-offshore-wind-united-kingdom (Data from 15 November 2023)

01:19:55 – Scientists agree the evidence shows climate change is real: https://science.nasa.gov/climate-change/evidence/

 01:21:27 – Additional information on the new coal field near Whitehaven, West Cumbria:
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/dec/07/uk-first-new-coalmine-for-30-years-gets-go-ahead-in-cumbria (7 December 2022)

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/articles/cx71wzp9qego (3 December 2023)

01:21:47 – Additional information, fossil fuels have received £20bn more UK support than renewables since 2015 – https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/mar/09/fossil-fuels-more-support-uk-than-renewables-since-2015

01:23:46 – CO2 is a pollutant: https://depts.washington.edu/ps301/myth-2-carbon-is-not-a-pollutant-amber-sonka

01:24:04 – While CO2 is used within greenhouses it doesn’t disprove climate change:
https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSL1N2Z01O0/

01:24:17 – Within the past million years CO2 is at an unprecedented concentration however it was higher many millions of years ago before humans were first dated to have appeared on Earth:
https://royalsociety.org/news-resources/projects/climate-change-evidence-causes/question-7/

https://humanorigins.si.edu/education/introduction-human-evolution

01:24:40 – The largest emitters globally of CO2 are China and the United States:
https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/uk-and-global-emissions-and-temperature-trends/

01:25:02 – The WEF facilitates dialogue on global issues but does not have legislative or enforcement powers and the UN can only act within the framework agreed upon by its member states:
https://www.un.org/en/about-us/un-charter/full-text

01:28:25 – Additional information, Ed Davey pledged in 2013 new price support for offshore wind power:
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/dec/04/ed-davey-support-offshore-wind-power (4 December 2013)

01:31:19 – the United Nations has said “There are ‘reasonable grounds’ to believe that Israel is committing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza”: https://news.un.org/en/story/2024/03/1147976

01:31:37 – Additional information on the impact of the Israel-Hamas war: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effects_of_the_Israel%E2%80%93Hamas_war

01:32:23 – While some analysts warn that the situation in Ukraine could escalate into a broader conflict, others argue the current dynamics are different from the Cuban Missile Crisis: https://nationalinterest.org/feature/cuban-missile-crisis-20-over-ukraine-205077 (28 September 2022)

https://www.theguardian.com/world/article/2024/jun/07/russia-nuclear-powered-submarine-kazan-to-visit-cuba

01:32:45 – All Western countries are democracies and are not controlled by the WEF.  The WEF facilitates dialogue on global issues but does not have legislative or enforcement powers: https://www.weforum.org/about/world-economic-forum/](https://www.weforum.org/about/world-economic-forum/

The UN can only act within the framework agreed upon by its member states: https://www.un.org/en/about-us/un-charter/full-text](https://www.un.org/en/about-us/un-charter/full-text

 01:34:10 – Added information, UK’s position on the Corruption Perceptions Index in 2023 https://www.transparency.org/en/cpi/2023/index/gbr

01:35:13 – Added information, statistics on drug and alcohol abuse: https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/statistics-on-public-health/2023

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/substance-misuse-treatment-for-young-people-2022-to-2023/young-peoples-substance-misuse-treatment-statistics-2022-to-2023-report

01:36:17 – Additional information, statistics on Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAHMS) waiting lists: https://digital.nhs.uk/supplementary-information/2024/waiting-times-for-children-and-young-peoples-mental-health-services-2022-23

https://www.childrenscommissioner.gov.uk/blog/over-a-quarter-of-a-million-children-still-waiting-for-mental-health-support/

01:36:26 – Additional information, latest statistics on small boats coming to the UK across the English Channel: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/migrants-detected-crossing-the-english-channel-in-small-boats/migrants-detected-crossing-the-english-channel-in-small-boats-last-7-days

01:40:28 – Additional information on the role of an MP as defined by UK Parliament and what they can do for you: https://www.parliament.uk/about/mps-and-lords/members/mps/

https://www.parliament.uk/about/mps-and-lords/members/what/

01:42:00 – Climate change was first predicted through the greenhouse effect in 1896 by Svante Arrhenius.  Guy Callendar connected carbon dioxide increases in Earth’s atmosphere to global warming in 1938.  Milutin Milankovic linked ice ages to Earth’s orbital characteristics in 1941 and Gilbert Plass formulated the Carbon Dioxide Theory of Climate Change in 1956: https://science.nasa.gov/climate-change/evidence/

https://science.nasa.gov/climate-change/evidence/#:~:text=In%20the%201860s,Change%20in%201956.