The only official Bournemouth East hustings descended into chaos after the Independent candidate excluded from the event stood up and heckled the chairman.
The hustings, held at Moordown Baptist Church on Wednesday evening, was chaired by member of the church John Rosser and included all the five national party candidates, however Independent David Hugh Ross stood up at the end denouncing the event.
He told the chair John Rosser, “you have denied me a platform,” before shouting to the crowd “I would be no good as a potential candidate for you, if I could not stand up for myself,” receiving a round of applause.
Rosser replied arguing the event was for national party candidates only. He later clarified to Your Election 15:
“If you invited everyone you would see half a dozen weirdos. It’s fine for them to stand for parliament but if you’re going to hold an intelligent hustings I think five is difficult. Any more would be incredibly difficult. It’s a logical decision,” said the Chair.
Ross argued he had been “beaten up by the system” and called the event a “reiteration of the national debate.”
“Independents get beaten up by the system. I didn’t have any personal contact from anyone. I was blanked then and I’ve been blanked tonight.”
“We found very little about the candidates themselves and the fundamental point that four of the five have no chance of being elected and they know it. I’m actually standing with the intention of winning.”
Ross was supported by Bournemouth East constituent Trisha who said: “Anywhere in politics it’s wrong. Everyone should be represented.” Her friend Layla said “democracy isn’t all neat and tidy” and argued the Chair “should’ve spoke less” to make more time for Ross.
Conservative Tobias Ellwood who has held the seat of Bournemouth East since 2005 waded in and advised the organisers that “next time you should allow all the candidates to attend.”
Bournemouth East has six parliamentary candidates for the General Election on May 7: Tobias Ellwood (Conservative), Jon Nicholas (Liberal Democrat) David Hughes (UKIP) Peter Stokes (Labour) Alasdair Keddie (Green) and David Hugh Ross (Bournemouth Independent Alliance).