Labour, Green and Social Equality Party representatives debate Kashmir and Palestine at Wolseley Road Mosque

Labour, Green and Socialist Equality parties battled it out in a hustings debate on Kashmir and Palestine last night.

The Liberal Democrat candidate, Colin Ross, and Conservative candidate, Janice Silvester-Hall, did not appear at the debate, although spaces were left at the table for them.

Janice Silvester-Hall said: “Where I have been aware of hustings I have either accepted, attended or given apologies accordingly.” 

Andrew Sangar, Lib Dem Councillor for Fulwood, said: “Our candidate has attended as many hustings as possible.”

The standing Labour MP for Sheffield Central, Paul Blomfield, Green Member in the House of Lords, Natalie Bennett, and SEP candidate for Sheffield Central, Chris Marsden, discussed their party’s positions on the two contested regions at the Sheffield Islamic Centre.

Paul Blomfield said: “The scale of the crimes committed within Kashmir need to be covered more effectively by the international media.”

Natalie Bennett, who was standing in for the Sheffield Central Green candidate as they attended another hustings, emphasised the UK’s responsibility in these conflicts.

She said: “We want the UK to be a strong leading force for good in the world.”

Chris Marsden said his party do not want the UK to be a force in the World and should not interfere with other countries.

In responding to scepticism from the audience about the two-party solution in Israel/ Palestine, Paul Blomfield said he understood their frustration with the viability of the solution but it was the best option.

He says he has agreed to the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign’s pledges, which advocate for the retreat of Israel from Palestinian territory and for the rights of the Palestinian people.

He opposes Donald Trump’s endorsement of the expansion of Israeli settlements into the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.