MP and candidate will debate

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Planning is underway for four debates on NHS services for Calder Valley to be held between Labour parliamentary candidate Josh Fenton-Glynn and incumbent Tory MP Craig Whittaker in September.

Mr Whittaker has accepted the challenge laid down by Fenton-Glynn and the two men have agreed a format which will see four debates happening across the constituency to allow as many people as possible to attend one near them.

The first hour of each debate will be devoted to the challenges faced by the local NHS and the possible changes facing crucial services at Calderdale Hospital.

A second hour will also follow to allow audience members to ask questions on any other topics they wish to quiz the two candidates on.

Full details of the dates, times and venues, which will be neutral, as will each meeting’s chair, have yet to be announced.

It follows a challenge by Mr Fenton-Glynn to debate issues about the NHS, including concerns about the closure of Calderdale Royal Hospital’s A&E department. He said: “This will be an opportunity for people across the constituency to be able to quiz us face to face and come to their own conclusions about who best stands up for our local healthcare provision and the best interests of patients.”

Mr Whittaker said he was happy to debate NHS issues but felt constituents should also have the opportunity to hear the two candidates debate other matters as well.