Change Britain’

PUBLISHED: 13:22 06 May 2010 | UPDATED: 17:54 25 August 2010

IN LINE: The candidates.

IN LINE: The candidates.

RESIDENTS and congregation members saw passions rise as candidates expressed heated views on the Iraq War at a hustings.

RESIDENTS and congregation members saw passions rise as candidates expressed heated views on the Iraq War at a hustings.

It was held in the New Wine Church, John Wilson Street, Woolwich, moderated by Revered Mike Leader, last Thursday, and candidates being interrogated on a range of issues.

Independent candidate Tammy Alingham was the only candidate out of the seven standing not to attend.

Onay Kasab from the Socialist Coalition offered a refreshing alternative to the main parties and received a hearty applause in his opening statement.

He said: "If you want to serve the people, you have to live like the people and with the people."

Nick Raynsford, the incumbent Labour MP was enthusiastically welcomed in the safe Labour majority constituency.

Injecting some youth and vitality into the panel was Joseph Lee, Liberal Democrat candidate, aged just 26.

The Indonesian born English Democrat Raden Wresniwiro said that he'd sacrifice 10 per cent of his salary for an education trust for schools in Greenwich.

When asked how his party would support marriage and civil partnerships he said: "Sometimes people want to stay single and sometimes people want to get divorced, we must support that."

His response was met with sniggers which failed to wane when he said he had been moved to write poems about the war in Iraq and if anybody wanted to read them they could email him.

Mr Kasab's empassioned response to the war evoked an enthusiastic response after which he said: "The answer is quite clearly oil, it was about oil. Why is 90 per cent of oil produced in Iraq owned by Americans?"

Labour's Mr Raynsford defended his party's decision to go to war by saying: "Refugees came here because of the brutal Saddam regime. Invading Iraq was the right thing to do."

Questioned on knife crime Mr Wresniwiro said: "I would encourage young people to take up martial arts like I did, when you can harness physical and mental alertness, you don't want to be involved in any conflicts."

Other issues raised included small businesses, faith schools and abortion.

Andy Hewett from the Green Party said that his party had been campaigning for migrant workers in London and mentioned the fact that no one ever talks about the five million ex pats from this country.

Asked how the parties would support marriage and civil partnerships, Conservative candidate Spencer Drury said: "There is a penalty in the system for married couples and we're trying to rectify that." In his final statement, Mr Hewett said: "It's not just about the environment, people are the environment too.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Bexley Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Bexley Times