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Sussex lecturer to chair by-election hustings

A Sussex student is standing as the Conservative candidate.

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The Argus have announced they will be holding a debate in the Premier Suite at Brighton Racecourse at 7pm on February 5. The debate will be between the candidates hoping to win the by-election to decide the councillor for East Brighton.

The by-election will be taking place on February 8 for the East Brighton ward following the resignation of councillor Lloyd Russell-Moyle, who is also the MP for Brighton Kemptown.

A professor of Journalism at the University of Sussex, Ivor Gaber, will be chairing and moderating the debate. Gaber specialises in political journalism and has done plenty of work as a political journalist. He has had senior editorial positions in the BBC, Channel 4, and Sky News. He has also co-authored a number of books.

Candidates for the Greens, the Conservatives, and the Lib Dems have confirmed they will attend. The frontrunner, Labour's Nancy Platts, told The Argus she has a full diary, but she may be convinced to attend.

Edward Wilson, a Politics and International Relations student at the University of Sussex, will be running as the Conservative candidate. He said his focus is "winning this by-election."

Wilson is the Vice President of the Conservative society at Sussex, as well as the Events Organiser for the Liberate the Debate society, which pursues freedom of speech and encourages debate from all sides.

He sparked controversy with a blogpost for Liberate the Debate entitled 'In the defence of Enoch Powell – why he was right on immigration.'

He wrote that "failures of integration have forced upon Britain a watering down of culture, tradition and language that has made many parts of the country unrecognisable."

Wilson responded by saying that the piece was designed to "encourage debate" within the society. He said he would be "mortified" if anyone confused the content of the piece with his own views.

He clarified that "the speech was full of hatred" and does not represent his personal views, subsequently taking it down for fear of perpetuating "ideas which are not right."

East Brighton is one of the city's strongest Labour areas, with their own Nancy Platts tipped to win, but Wilson hopes to change this.

The debate will be taking place on February 5 at 7pm. Tickets are free and can be booked by clicking here.

If you live in East Brighton, you can register to vote here. To find out your ward, enter your postcode here.

Featured image courtesy of University of Chester