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Vale of Glamorgan - Would-be MPs face school test

Parliamentary candidates battling for Wales' most hotly contested seat in the general election have faced a grilling from pupils.

Five out of the seven candidates contesting the marginal Labour seat of the Vale of Glamorgan faced a series of probing questions at Barry Comprehensive School last week.

Head of history Malcolm Phillips, who chaired the debate, arranged the pre-election event for his politics students.

The panel included one of his former pupils - Plaid Cymru's Ian Johnson - who lined up against Alana Davies (Labour), Alun Cairns (Conservative), Eluned Parrott (Liberal Democrats) and and Kevin Mahoney (UKIP). The other candidates are Rhodri Thomas for the Green Party and John Harrold for the Christian Party.

The candidates were quizzed on a number of subjects including immigration, the prospect of a hung parliament, student debt, the economy, MPs' expenses and the environment.

Headteacher David Swallow said everyone was "delighted" with how well the debate was received.

"The event was very well attended and gave the public the chance to hear the candidates' answers to a wide range of questions," he said. "It was also an excellent opportunity for pupils in the audience to engage with politics and debate with the candidates." de.

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