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Wolf whistles greet Lib Dem porn queen

PUBLISHED: 11:40 01 April 2010 | UPDATED: 11:36 23 August 2010

CROWDS: The scene at North West Kent College in Gravesend when the four main election candidates met for a lively Question Time session.

CROWDS: The scene at North West Kent College in Gravesend when the four main election candidates met for a lively Question Time session.

BATTLE LINES were drawn as four leading parliamentary candidates came face to face in a bid to win voters in the forthcoming General Election Incumbent Conservative MP Adam Holloway was joined by rivals Kathryn Smith, the Labour candidate, and Geoffrey C

BATTLE LINES were drawn as four leading parliamentary candidates came face to face in a bid to win voters in the forthcoming General Election

Incumbent Conservative MP Adam Holloway was joined by rivals Kathryn Smith, the Labour candidate, and Geoffrey Clark of UKIP.

Also on the panel was controversial Liberal Democrat candidate Anne Arrowsmith, the UK's first ever female porn director.

Held at North West Kent College in Dering Way, Gravesend, the public debate was attended by about 200 construction trainees between 16 and 19-years-old.

Topics discussed ranged from the war in Afghanistan, the Dartford tunnel, public transport, immigration, benefits and knife crime.

Jeers and catcalls came from a vocal audience, but barbs were also exchanged between candidates with Mr Clark calling on Mr Holloway to answer a letter written questioning his expenses in the opening speech.

Later answering a question on the Dartford Crossing, Ms Smith asked why Mr Holloway had not secured a residents rate reduction similar to Dartford.

She spoke briefly about Labour's investment in education and attacked Mr Holloway over the Dartford toll crossing charges, saying: "If you live in Dartford you would benefit from a 50 per cent reduction because of their labour MP Howard Stoate pushed for it. In Gravesend no such action took place."

"Yes the Dartford Toll is all my fault," retorted Mr Holloway sarcastically.

But it was the current MP, a former Grenadier Guard, who impressed the audience when fielding questions about the war in Afghanistan and previous campaign in Iraq.

He said: "What we have got to realise there is that 80 per cent of insurgents are normal people, we have created insurgents because we are cutting against the grain of their society."

But he also told the audience the key to success was through negotiators and spies rather than sheer force. UKIP's Mr Clark received strong support for his party's plans to pull out of Europe.

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Responding to a question on the issue, he said: "If we can leave the EU we can control immigration," adding that should Turkey be included in the Union, a further 70 million people could be entitled to enter and work in the country indefinitely.

In contrast Mrs Arrowsmith, who was greeted by wolf-whistles and made no secret of her job as a pornography director was booed for her party's inclusive stance on immigration

She said: "The Liberal Democrats believe the UK is a better place with a mixture of cultures. We always have been a culturally diverse country, and never a country of only white Anglo-Saxons."

The event, held last Friday, was organised by college bosses, with all questions submitted by students and directed to each candidate by Head of Construction Derek Rutherford.

Finishing the hour long session, each candidate thanked North West Kent College for staging the event and urged the students to use their opportunity to vote.

What do you think? E-mail Nicholas.hitchens@archant.co.uk

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