Pre-election debate on rural issues to be held at Wingfield

Labour's General Election candidate Jack Abbott.

Labour's General Election candidate Jack Abbott. - Credit: Archant

Suffolk farmers and landowners will get the chance to quiz representatives from the main political parties on key rural issues ahead of the General Election at an event next month.

Country Land and Business Association (CLA) East is hosting a free-to-attend live debate at Wingfield Barns, near Diss, on Tuesday, April 21 from 4pm to 6pm with focus on the countryside and rural economy.

On hand to answer questions will be the Labour Party candidate for the Central Suffolk and North Ipswich ward, Jack Abbott, and Conservative, Liberal Democrat, and UKIP representatives.

CLA East Regional Director Ben Underwood said: “This election looks too close to call, so every seat and every vote will be important to all the parties.

“The rural economy is set to play a key role in deciding our future destiny, particularly here in Suffolk. Nobody should underestimate the positive impact the economic, environmental and social contributions from a vibrant countryside can have on the country as a whole.

“We want everyone who lives and works in rural areas to make the most of their vote. This event offers a great opportunity for people to engage with their local candidates and make sure they hear their voices, loud and clear.

“This type of individual contact carries tremendous weight with politicians and, most importantly, reminds them there are votes at stake.”

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Each of the candidates will make a short introductory speech before the debate follows a similar format to BBC Question Time, with questions for the panel from the audience.

The candidates will be invited to join members for tea and coffee following the conclusion of the debate.

All CLA members attending are invited to submit a question on a key rural issue for consideration when they book their place. A number will then be selected and asked during the debate.

To book a place, visit or call the CLA East regional office on 01638 590429.