ALL but one of West Dunbartonshire’s General Election candidates turned up to a heated hustings in Clydebank Town Hall on Monday.

Jenni Lang, Liberal Democrat candidate, did not show up. SNP candidate Martin Docherty-Hughes, Scottish Green candidate Peter Connolly, Conservative candidate Alix Mathieson, Labour candidate Jean Anne Mitchell and Independent candidate Andrew Muir took their seats at a table in front of an audience who fired questions at them for two-and-a-half hours.

Janet Cassidy, chair of the debate and RMT delegate to Clydebank TUC, had to intervene when Claire Muir, a former candidate, and wife to Mr Muir, repeatedly interrupted speakers throughout the night.

Some of the candidates started off by giving a quick resume of their upbringing and background, while others instead decided to list the issues which were most important to them – but not without interruptions from members of the audience.

The £1billion “bung” the Tories funnelled to Northern Ireland in return for DUP support, social security issues such as the rape clause and bedroom tax, as well as the Armed Forces Representative Body Bill were issues most important to Mr Docherty-Hughes.

Mr Connolly told the audience how he was brought up in Drumchapel and that he has experienced the struggle with poverty that afflicts many families. He added that “10 years of Conservative austerity has cost lives”, and said he believed Universal Credit needs abolished immediately and that a green transport system must be introduced.

Read more: Election: West Dunbartonshire hopefuls go head-to-head on Brexit

Ms Mathieson told the audience that she grew up living in social housing and was the first person in her family to go to university. She said she wants to see more social housing on brownfield sites and believes child suicide must be made a priority – and wants Vale of Leven Hospital to become a centre of excellence for mental health.

Ms Mitchell said she was determined to “deliver real change” and added some of her party’s main priorities were to re-nationalise ScotRail and the Royal Mail and make the living wage £10 an hour for everyone.

Mr Muir stated that he was the only person who lived in the constituency area and went on to thank the other candidates for turning up as they must have “travelled far”. He went on to say he was standing up for the weak and vulnerable and that mental health is a priority of his.

Public questions asked throughout the evening included the candidates’ position on a re-vote for Brexit. What is their position on the rape clause and why? How is their party going to end austerity? What will they do to support the WASPI women? How do they feel about greenspace? Do any of the parties have a policy on human rights and mental health? And how is accountability within the NHS going to be tackled?

The hustings event will be held in the Concord Community Centre, Dumbarton, on December 5 at 7pm. Everyone is welcome.

Tom Morrison, secretary of Clydebank Trades Unions Council, told the Post: “It was important to get the community together to question the candidates and put pressure on our politicians – whether that’s at local level, the Scottish Parliament or Westminster.

“That’s the reason we organised it – to give people the opportunity to hold politicians to account.”