CANDIDATES hoping to be elected as the MP for North Shropshire had their chance to pitch their plans to the public on Wednesday.

The prospective parliamentary candidates for four parties took to the stage at the Festival Drayton Centre, in Market Drayton, for the hustings ahead of the upcoming General Election.

Representatives for each party had 10 minutes each to present their case, before facing questions from audience members.

Liberal Democrat Helen Morgan started things off, followed by Labour’s Graham Currie, Conservative Party’s Owen Paterson and Green Party’s John Adams.

The seat has been a Conservative stronghold over the past 20 years, with Mr Paterson holding the seat since 1997.

Other party members had their chance to put forward their aims in an attempt to oust the Conservative candidate.

Brexit was a hot topic on the evening, with each candidate making their stance on the matter clear, but there was also a lot of discussion surrounding poverty, immigration and climate change.

Ms Morgan has made her stance on Brexit clear, saying she believes it will worsen an already struggling NHS in Shropshire.

She pleaded for people to vote for her party in order to protect the NHS from US President Donald Trump, and also criticised the Labour Party policy of introducing a four-day working week.

Meanwhile, Mr Currie said the Tories have caused the 'most toxic and divisive culture the country has known', adding that his party has the only way forward with regards to Brexit.

“The Labour Party have got the only solution [for Brexit],” he said.

“This election isn’t just a Brexit election, it’s about more than that. It is potentially about how we transform the economy of Britain to suit the majority, not the very small few.”

Mr Paterson, a long-term advocate of leaving the EU, then had his say on the matter, explaining how he feels the Conservative Party will be the only party to get Brexit done.

“People were told their decision [in the referendum] would be honoured," he said.

“The only way to see it honoured is to vote Conservative.”

Mr Adams, representing the Green Party, said his party offers the only way forward, but focused heavily on the current climate emergency during his time addressing the audience.

He said: “We can still act fast enough to prevent catastrophic impact affecting us all.

“The public hasn’t been told truth about climate change – science tells us humans changing climate faster than nature ever has.

“Climate change doesn’t have a political affiliation and will affect everyone on earth.

“We need to come together and act collectively for positive change.”

Speaking after the event, Ms Morgan of the Libdems, said she hopes people will vote for her party to avoid a move towards more extreme ends of the political spectrum.

She said: “I think tonight went well and the chair was excellent.

“From a personal point of view, we have two parties which are moving further and further to the extremes, and we need a practical and optimistic way forward for the future.

“We’re offering a turn to pragmatic politics, while also dealing with the severe problems that we’ve got.

“We don’t believe it’s an extreme position to say, “let’s remain in the European Union”, so we can get rid of that problem that we don’t need, allowing us to focus on the things that do matter.”

Labour’s Mr Currie meanwhile, believes his party will offer a more equal society.

“I thought tonight was an excellent event, I was really pleased to be involved in it. I think we all had a good chance to put our views forward,” he said.

“The main views I wanted to put forward were that the Labour Party is going to change the austerity agenda, we’re going to put Britain back to work, we’re going to address the climate emergency and we’re going to be making sure we defend the NHS against President Trump’s trade deal.

“We’re going to make sure we support and rebuild public services like education, social services and emergency services.

“We want to make sure we have a society which is more equal.”

Conservative candidate, Mr Paterson, said he thought the audience members will not have changed their stance based on what was heard at the event.

He explained: “There were a lot of fairly predictable questions and a predictable reaction from the audience.

“We know at these events we tend to get a lot of keen supporters, so I’m not sure how many people we converted because a lot of people will have left with the same views they came in with.

“It was useful to get across the point that, after spending the morning in Drayton, overwhelmingly the issue was Brexit.

“People want us to get on with it and get it done, and the only way to do that is to get a Conservative majority government.”

And Mr Adams of the Green Party, wanted to ensure people take notice of the importance of the current climate emergency despite other important ongoing matters.

“I think all other issues pale in comparison to the climate emergency, so I hope people have that in their minds,” he said.

“It really is an existential crisis for all of us. I strongly believe people should have in their minds when voting at this election, that solving that problem is most important.

“Brexit is a huge distraction from the climate emergency at the moment. One of the things the Green Party would say is that the ways of tackling climate change are actually really practical and will make peoples’ lives better.

“There’s no good sticking our head in the sand and pretending the problem isn’t there.”

“Although the Green Party won’t form the next government, it’s very important to maximise the number of Green Party representatives in government.”