General Election hustings events to take place in Margate and Ramsgate

Election time

General election candidates for the East Thanet constituency will face questions at two hustings this month.

A hustings is a meeting where election candidates or parties debate policies and answer questions from the audience. It provides voters with an opportunity to hear the views of candidates or parties who are asking for their vote in upcoming elections

The country goes to the polls on July 4 where the vote will decided Members of Parliament for each constituency and the overall party that will run the country.

On May 22 former PM Rishi Sunak announced the date for the election with Parliament prorogued on 24 May and dissolved on 30 May with the vote taking place  on July 4.

In Thanet the former constituencies of South and North Thanet have been changed to East Thanet – comprising Ramsgate, Broadstairs and most of Margate and the Herne Bay and Sandwich constituency taking in Westbrook, Birchington, Garlinge, Thanet villages wards and Westgate.

For East Thanet there are eight candidates vying for people’s votes to take the seat.

A hustings in Margate this Thursday (June 20) will be hosted by Social Enterprise UK and Social Enterprise Kent at Olby’s Soul Café on June 20th from 7pm-9pm.

This event is aimed at the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector.

So far Labour, Green, and Reform parties are confirmed, and invites have gone out to Conservatives and Independents.

People will be able to submit a question for the candidates by emailing [email protected]. It isn’t guaranteed that all will be asked but a broad cross-section of questions will be selected.

Tickets are free and can be booked here.

An East Thanet constituency hustings will also take place at St. Luke’s Church, Ramsgate, at 7.30pm on Monday 24th June.

Answering questions submitted by residents in advance will be:

  • Helen Harrison (Conservative candidate)
  • Steve Roberts (Green Party candidate)
  • Jai Singh (Liberal Democrat candidate)
  • Labour candidate Polly Billington (This is updated, Cllr Everitt will no longer be attending in her place)
  • Paul Webb (Reform UK candidate)

There are three Independent Candidates standing for election in the constituency:

However, these will not be on the panel. Independent Grahame Birchall has expressed his upset at this, saying he feels ‘insulted.’

He added: “Independents have to pay their way in elections, to make the wheels of democracy turn. Party candidates get everything paid for. A little unfair on we independents who are ignored for our efforts and financial sacrifice. He and his Church are not acting impartially.

Rev Worledge said: “The decision was made before knowing who would be standing in the constituency to limit the number of candidates invited to the hustings to five. This was in order to allow time for a reasonable number of questions to be asked and time for the candidates to answer the questions. Priority has been given to those candidates representing parties who have the highest ratings in the national polls.”

The doors of St. Luke’s will be open from 7pm and the hustings will start promptly at 7:30pm.

Rev Paul Worledge is chairing the event, which will be livestreamed

To find out more and submit questions click here

On July 4, polling stations open at 7am and close at 10pm. For people voting in person photographic ID will, for the first time in a general election, be required.

Once voting closes at 10pm, an exit poll is announced. This is a survey of in-person voters taken at a sample of around 150 constituencies in England, Scotland and Wales. Exit polls have taken place in various forms since 1974, and have correctly predicted the largest party on every occasion.


  1. Why isn’t the Labour Candidate attending this hustings?

    Is it because it is live streamed?

    Is it because the seat is in the bag and there’s no point?

    What is the reason and will this be the case for all East Thanet hustings?

  2. This is a hear no evil see no evil and flummox the questioners and attendee’s as much as possible meeting.

  3. Also Astonished that Ms Billington is not attending. Have requested info about when she will attend a public meeting.

  4. I already know who I’m going to vote for. It’s vanishingly unlikely that anything any of the candidates says will change my mind.

  5. She probably has her eye on a bigger job within goverment ( environment , energy, climate change etc) and knows she won’t be doing much real constituency work , using Rick as the stand in though is hardly the right choice, local and central government are pretty much separate entities and it shows rather too cosy an arrangement.

    • Indeed. Just like Farage a few years back, she simply wants to use Thanet for bigger things. At least Gale (and I believe Whitehead) cares about the area.

      • A few years back I asked Gale why he’d not intervened and done something about TDC that was becoming dysfunctional.
        My understanding of his reply was that mps didn’t get involved in council matters and that it was their job to form policy and regulation to give councils the tools to perform their duties and steer them in the direction desired by government. They also assisted constituents and local firms etc.
        Billington is already blurring this division and being too cosy with the leader of the council, would she be as chummy if TDC came under Tory control during labours term? Whitehead is fixated on housing and will sail too close to the wind to pursue this and ignore most other things if it suits her. And again would be too close to TDC . Going to be an interesting 5 years

        • If Labour get in, there will soon be a backlash locally, with a change of party at TDC. There always is.

          • Traditionally it was the way local and central government maintained a degree of balance via the electorate, but this time round if labours westminster majority is as great as forecast, changes in local government will not be enough to restrain westminster much at all.
            Especially as local elections have pretty much aligned with the general election this time.

        • Any resident, including MPs, can force a local referendum on having a directly elected council leader, thereby making local government more open, transparent and accountable. An MP is also very well placed to enable their local governments to obtain the status of Unitary Authority. So Gale was just side stepping.

  6. I have found it very disheartening that I had to read in the local news, why I had not been invited to attend or take part, Independent Candidates such as myself feel upset and insulted, that no explanation was given to me directly, out of curtesy it would have been nice to be told.

    Independent Candidates pay their own deposits and have their required nomination signatures, just like the other candidates. Party candidates get everything paid for including their campaign materials, boosting online posts, sponsored videos and more.

    It is unfair on Independents who are ignored for our efforts and financial sacrifice. The biggest problem in our Politics is Impartially, Transparency, Trust and Mutual Respect.

    For more about me see my priorities: or for voting information see:

  7. Pathetic response from Starmer’s pro – genocide party to hustings events, first we see Rosie Duffield in Canterbury, now Polly Billington in East Thanet, both too cowardly to face the scrutiny of voters questions, yet they want voters to hand them the £80k+ pa job of representing residents while they can’t be bothered to engage in hustings events. The arrogance these individuals are displaying beggers belief. I guess the only prople they will answer to, are the lobbyists that fund their lavish lifestyles.

    • Rosie Duffield a coward? She’s Labour’s bravest politician, yet gets no support from her party.

      Whatever, you obviously hate Labour… so, who should we vote for instead in your opinion?

  8. Billington – unless there is a personal /family issue preventing attendance (which could be politically advantageous ,no doubt)- to substitute a local councillor to answer on behalf of a potential MP – who is asking for your vote is insulting the electorate.How ignorant , shameful behaviour Billington . Billington should explain herself . I do not need to hear regurgitation and bilge from a local Councillor- show yourself Billington – shame on you . This behaviour is enough to change my vote .

    • “unless there is a personal /family issue preventing attendance …”
      And until the situation is clarified none of us is entitled to sound off.

      • Quite right Phyllis , especially as you have never done as such?
        Much evidence to the contrary.
        Having a strong opinion and freedom of speech is not “sounding off “
        Independents would love to have the hustings opportunity- Billington is simply requested to clarify the rationale for her abscence.

      • You don’t decide what we are ‘entitled’ to do. If there was a substantial personal reason for the absence she could request another date. She is the main candidate, she’s predicted to win, snubbing the hustings is a very big deal and reveals what level of democratic accountability we can expect from her. Especially as she has also been ignoring emails from constituents on a range of topics from the NHS to WASPI women to questions about her role as a lobbyist and how the ‘green’ org she funded was funded. This has been going on for months.

        • She’s not ‘the main candidate’.
          Helen Harrison is.
          This is a Tory seat and apart from ’97-’10 always has been.

  9. Yes absolutely, shame on you, Dave, you stand by your statement. What’s your thoughts on Braverman, Johnson, Cameron, Sunak, Dowden, Hunt, Government, Mardaunt, Mogg, Patel, do they get a free ride for crimes against the country and it’s people over the last 14 years? Just wondering.

    • Thank you so much Stephen, head held low in shame as you demand . Indeed I do stand by my statement .I’m a socialist as you are so interested .
      I have no interest in discussing politics with your good self , – however it is thought not unreasonable for a candidate standing to be a MP be available for hustings – not have a local Councillor , who is not standing as a potential MP candidate .
      So yes shame on you Billington – explain your absence .

  10. I agree she should be there, however I don’t see how your terminology is measured and fare. I also think hustings are a waste of time, I would rather have her hold Court, speak and answer questions, rather than have 3 plus other halfwits standing slinging insults.

  11. I do hope not, I apply fairness to those who deserve it, how fair have the Tories been to anyone not wealthy in this country, how fair have the Tories been to the NHS, Schools, Police, Ambulance, forces, Children’s services, Care homes and care community. If the Tories want to take us for mugs, I will do likewise in reciprocation, they deserve nothing short of the harshest of treatment. They have mismanaged just about everything they have ever touched. They are a blight,ca disgrace to this nation and it’s hard working people and servicemen. I always reciprocate in kind, however I am treated, this is how the Tories have treated this country, almost with disregard and contempt, so I will definitely do likewise, as for Polly, other than not attending a worthless hustings has done nothing to me.

    • Have you ever attended one? I have, and I’ve been swayed by candidates I hadn’t previously supported.

      • 30 minutes or one or two hours of wannabes ranting at each other with no evidence to back up their bile, doesn’t do it for me, I prefer making my own decision based on historical evidence, facts, and what is being said globally for the nation as opposed to the area of thanet. If you can be swayed so easily, I would ask are you as informed as perhaps you believe you are?

  12. Labour candidate Polly Billington not turning up and sending Rick Everitt along in her place? How pathetic. She want to be our MP but can’t manage to attend the hustings? Says it all.

  13. Ask him how come more than 50 million British people can go abroad for holidays In a year, when austerity is so bad

  14. Your a stuck record, is this the posting your going to use on all the subjects on this platform, limited aren’t you. A better question is, how can 5 tory prime ministers, untold cabinet members and the back benches, kill this nations finances and place so many people in poverty and lowering the standard of life for all but the rich, while taxing people so highly without using those tax revenues to fund essential services. But you stick to your limited garbage, tory boy.

  15. I doubt your numbers, how many of those are repeat fliers, holiday homes abroad or business, how many of those are wealthy which can afford to, how many of those are young going abroad for European football matches, or stag and hen parties. I know a few that have holidays on credit cards, repeatedly, is this sustainable? Are you In denial there are people which have to choose between heat or food, or people being made homeless by government policies? You should measure a country on its lowest level not any heights only a few benefit from. So my question still stands, prove your numbers. How is it 50 million people go abroad each year according to you, when at least 25 million never leave the country? There’s only 65 million in the country. My post would answer some of the questions, your only raise more. So qualify it Tory boy. You must believe that the mediocrity and failure of this government is great, hate to have your standards. Forgot one, how many are medical travellers due to the decimated state of the NHS your tory government has left it in.

  16. If Polly does turn up can somebody ask why the labour candidate doesn’t even live in the district/constituency and instead lives in Hackney, London? Unfortunately I’m away so won’t be able to attend.

  17. The queues at airports and seaports, the 12 million who go to Spain each year, the high end phones that are stuck people’s ears , the number of new cars using the roads , the people moving into new homes, the number of people buying or renting static homes or caravans the way people have decided to become unmarried families with expensive children, tells me we live in a society that is “must have” not be sensible and “we need, it’s a necessity. Learn how to budget, like I did then perhaps you’ll be able to own a house , go on holiday and buy the little extras you need , by the way my first wage for nearly two years was under £50 a month.

  18. Now you have finally raised a few good points, people feel as if they need the nicest or trendy brands in clothes, cars, phones, watches and other and have no compunction in getting this stuff in sacrifice of what they need not want and end up with high depth while renting or living at home, people put there holidays on cards as if they need it like a drug, instead of sacrificing their trip to Spain, Greece or Mexico for the genuine essentials in life. However getting back to your original rant of things can’t be that bad with x millions going on holidays, you have just contradicted your own argument as we agree people will do this and have a cycle where they place it on cards and end up in ever lasting debt. Carry on trying tory boy, your getting marginally better with exception of comprehension and contradiction. (Find a dictionary for the lastvtwo, or ask a grown up)

  19. You must be a lefty, can’t say goodbye without being rude. Or even showing tendencies of a bully, you must’ve been a union rep in a previous life

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