Young voters quiz UK politicians in TV debate

London, Dec 10 Senior UK politicians were quizzed on housing, climate change and Brexit by an audience of young British voters in an election special debate that aired on the BBC.

The debate on Monday night, the panel comprised Conservative Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner, Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson, SNP Justice Secretary in the Scottish government Humza Yousaf, Plaid Cymru’S Adam Price, Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley and the Brexit Party’s Nigel Farage.

The UK will vote in the general election on Thursday.

On the subject of housing, the panel were asked what age they were when they brought their own home.

Farage was the youngest, buying a property at 22, and Price was the oldest at 30.

Farage linked housing problems to population growth which prompted Yousaf to accuse the Brexit Party leader of blaming “everything on immigrants”, while Jenrick said that it was his “personal mission to help more young people on to the housing ladder” adding that his party would “offer discounts and help with deposits”.

An audience member asked the panel how governments could say that they were serious about climate change without dealing with one of the biggest contributors, meat consumption.

Jenrick said the ruling Conservatives would not “ban people from eating meat”, but would instead encourage people to live environmentally by investing in public transport and energy efficient measure.

But Swinson attacked the government’s record saying it had abolished the climate change department and blocked subsidies for wind farms.

On Brexit, Rayner said in another referendum she would vote to leave the European Union if “we get a deal that protects jobs and the economy”. Labour said that, if elected, it would renegotiate a new Brexit deal which would then be put back to the country in a referendum along with an option to remain in the EU.

While Jenrick said that he wished “we had managed to get Brexit done a long time ago”, Yousaf said that Scotland was the only nation “to get shafted” in the wake of Brexit.

But Farage accused the other five parties of having “broken their promise” to respect the result of the referendum.

Young people make up a big share of non-voters in the UK.

The British Election Study estimates that between 40-50 per cent of those aged 18 to their mid-20s voted in 2015 and 2017 compared with about 80 per cent of voters aged in their 70s.