PARLIMENTARY candidates for the Bicester and Banbury constituency were challenged by teenagers in a studentorganised debate.

Sixth form students from Bicester Community College hosted their own version of the BBC’s Question Time and invited candidates running to become the constituency’s MP.

On the panel was Dickie Bird from UKIP, Lib Dem John Howson, Green Party candidate Ian Middleton, Tory Victoria Prentis and Labour’s Sean Woodcock.

North Oxfordshire’s UK Youth Parliament member Aaron Miles and chairman of Bicester Athletics Club Steve Flynn also featured on the panel.

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Pupils asked questions on NHS spending, engaging young people in politics, LGBT issues including bullying and self harm, the EU and drug policies.

The debate was first proposed by Les Penfold, whose son goes to the college.

Mr Howson, 71, praised the debate and said the pupils, chaired by head boy MJ Oosthuizen, took on the panel with intelligence and confidence.

The Lib Dem, who is also an Oxfordshire county councillor, added: “The students were lovely. They asked good questions and were prepared to take on the panel with intelligence and confidence.”

Mr Flynn, who has lived in the town since 1966 with his wife Gillian, added: “The youngsters were bright and articulate as I knew they would be.”