On Wednesday Scottish Liberal Democrat Candidate James Calder attended to Fife Equality Hustings in Kirkcaldy along with candidates from the Conservatives, Labour and SNP. The evening provided an interesting forum to debate many issues, especially in the field of equality, between representatives from all the Parties standing in Fife in the General Election.

Some of the issues that were highlighted included the impact of Brexit on equalities, diversity in politics, the Refugee crisis and impacts on disabled people regarding equalities.

In the hustings James argued vigorously on these points. On Brexit, he made the point that in some quarters of the Conservative Party there was a suggestion that this could lead to a Singapore-style economy with reduced workers’ rights. He also described the fact that he was proud that the Liberal Democrats had fought in Parliament for the right to stay for EU citizens living in Britain.

On diversity in politics, James mentioned the work of the Scottish Liberal Democrats in ensuring all-female shortlists in target seats as well as the formation of the Diversity Working Group in the Party to improve our performance. He made the point that this was something all Parties needed to work towards.

On the refugee crisis, James mentioned that he was ashamed of the British Government for not doing more and was pleased at how Tim Farron had been campaigning strongly on this issue.

He also mentioned his disappointment that cuts on the local level that affected people with disabilities were made due to SNP underfunding Councils and that the Liberal Democrats had proposed a modest tax increase to avoid this, which the SNP rejected.

James also mentioned his disgust with the Rape Clause and the fact that he is opposed in General to the two-child limit to Child Tax Credits.

Overall the evening provided a lively atmosphere with the audience getting involved.