On Friday, 1st April 2016, BBC Any Questions came to Worcester University. It was an enjoyable evening for all political junkies, including several Worcester Labour Party members. The panel was Tim Farron, Liberal Democratic Leader, Jess Phillips, Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley, Andrea Jenkyns, Conservative MP who beat Ed Balls in 2015 and John Timpson, Chairman of Timpsons the shoe repairers who employs 10% former prisoners.
Audience questions included how the British steel industry might be saved, is the proposed sugar tax enough to address the obesity crisis, does prison work and being misunderstood (on the day of Ronnie Corbett's death four candles vs fork handles). The liveliest debate was on the new minimum/national living wage. Is it adequate to live on? why have 25 year olds been excluded from the increase?
After the programme was finished, Jonathan Dimbleby made an impassioned plea, in a personal capacity, to protect the BBC from government interference. He urged all audience members to write to their MP.
Jess Phillips did an excellent job of putting Labour views across and met with party members afterwards. She said that she would be happy to come to Worcester and do some canvassing with us.