BREXIT, the environment and education were among the items discussed as candidates vying to be Taunton Deane’s next MP faced voters.

Conservative Rebecca Pow, Liberal Democrat Gideon Amos, Labour’s Liam Canham and Independent John Hunt were grilled at a hustings event at St Michael the Archangel in Galmington on Monday (November 25) which was chaired by Brian Larcombe.

The candidates were given two minutes to introduce themselves and then the floor was opened up to questions from the public.

Mr Larcombe kicked off the hustings by asking the candidates which side of the Brexit vote they would back if there was a hung parliament.

Mr Hunt said regardless of his views on Brexit he would listen to the views of residents in Taunton Deane and would back the ‘Leave’ vote.

But Mr Amos said the Lib Dems would be campaigning for the Remain vote and would revoke Article 50 if elected.

Conservative Ms Pow said she hopes there will be no hung parliament and thinks it would be ‘undemocratic’ to call another referendum on Brexit. She said her party would ‘get Brexit done.’

While Mr Canham said Brexit is an issue which has divided his party but if elected he would listen to his constituents and honour what they wanted.

Next up was education and the candidates were asked what they would do to plug the ‘widening disparity’ of outcomes for rich and poor children.

Mr Amos said The Lib Dems would reverse education cuts made by the Conservatives and would give 35 hours a week of free childcare to help working parents. He said his party has a ‘package of measures’ to give children the best start in life.

Ms Pow said the Conservatives will give 6.4 per cent extra in funding per year for each primary and secondary school pupil in schools across the UK, will continue to build more schools and pour funding into education to help teachers and students.

Mr Canham said he thinks there are ‘huge amounts of inequality’ in this country and Labour will give funding to give children an equal start in life and ‘unlock their potential.’

Mr Hunt said cuts to funding from the Lib Dems and Conservatives in 2010 have had a ‘massive effect’ on education and if elected he would lobby the Government for funding so children from poor backgrounds have the best chance.

Next up was the NHS and the candidates were asked how realistic it is for 50,000 nurses to be recruited into the NHS.

Ms Pow said the Conservatives will be introducing measures including training programmes and extra childcare to help nurses and pouring £1bn into social care.

Mr Canham said nursing shortages cant be viewed in isolation and the Labour Party will provide an ‘injection of cash’ into the NHS and funding into social care.

Mr Amos said the Lib Dems will pour £7bn of funding into the NHS and will work to bring back bursaries for nurses in training.

And Mr Hunt said if elected he will fight for funding for the NHS, work to improve working conditions and ensure there is funding for better training for nurses.

The candidates were then asked about what they will do to help fight the climate crisis.

Mr Hunt said both the district and county council have declared a climate emergency and it will be a ‘top priority’ for him if he is elected.

Mr Amos said The Lib Dems will go zero carbon by 2045, invest in more wind energy and ban fracking.

Ms Pow said the Conservatives have frozen fracking and will pour funding into tackling the crisis by reducing plastic use and investing in renewable energy.

And Mr Canham said the Labour Party will commit to net zero carbon and funding inshore and offshore wind power. The candidates were also grilled at a hustings event on Wednesday (November 27) at the Temple Methodist Church in Taunton.