THE final Argus debate involving candidates for the Hove and Portslade constituency took place last night ahead of today’s General Election.

As expected, there were plenty of contrasting views as the four candidates involved in the debate, namely Labour’s Peter Kyle, Conservative Robert Nemeth, Beatrice Bass of the Liberal Democrats and Green Ollie Sykes laid out their respective vision on a number of key topics.

Ms Bass kicked off the feisty debate as she said: “This election is the day which will shape the future of the country for generations.

“Many people haven’t made up their minds yet as both major parties have moved to the extremes.

“If you’re looking for an alternative, the Lib Dems are the progressive candidate.”

Mr Nemeth then made it patently clear why he believes the Conservatives must be returned to power, adding: “I fought and beat the closure and sale of Hove Library.

“I’m a Conservative for many reasons but this election is about the economy.

“Vote for me if you believe in democracy and you’re fed up of talking about Brexit.”

Mr Kyle, who was the sitting MP prior to the election being called, said: “I have been independently minded. I’m a consensus politician who works with people from all sides.

“I threw my heart and soul into the Southern Rail crisis and got MPs to come together to challenge the Government and unlock £320 million of funding.

“I approached Brexit in the same way. I tried to find a way through that would help both sides.

“I’ve tried to find consensus but always put our community first.”

Mr Sykes was quick to bring up the climate crisis. He said: “Your most powerful vote is a Green vote. We’re the only party being totally honest on the climate crisis.

“We are resolutely pro-European and only by working together can we tackle global issues.

“We believe our voting system is broken and this is the fundamental cause of our crisis in democracy.”

When the subject of whether Jeremy Corbyn is fit to be Prime Minister there were, predictably, some sharp exchanges.

Mr Kyle said Mr Corbyn is more fit to be Prime Minister when compared with Boris Johnson but Mr Nemeth said he doesn’t believe Mr Corbyn is a good leader.

Mr Nemeth and Ms Bass then accused Mr Kyle of not being proud to be Labour and called on him to stand as an independent.

“I am Labour,” responded Mr Kyle.

In a lively exchange Mr Nemeth said he believes Boris Johnson is fit to be Prime Minister.

Mr Kyle then branded Boris Johnson a liar.

“You’re putting words into my mouth,” said Mr Nemeth.

“But he is demonstrably a liar,” said Mr Kyle.

Mr Sykes said he has “deep worries” about both Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn as leaders.

“What we’re seeing in this campaign is it’s a very personality-led campaign.

“It’s all about Robert and less about the party, it is about Peter and less about the party.

“I’m proud to stand on a manifesto and proud to stand on an old record.”

Ms Bass said Peter Kyle’s own party wanted to deselect him.

“You speak lovingly of them right now,” she said. “Are they going to withdraw the whip from you if you become MP?”

Mr Kyle said “that’s the weirdest thing that ever heard”.

He added: “I would have won the trigger ballot in my party, no question.”

The major topic was Brexit.

“I would be campaigning to Remain in the EU,” Mr Kyle said.

“Everyone will criticise Labour and I have criticised them too, but it’s categorical that by six months we will have a deal to put to the people.

“The Lib Dems have a policy of a supporting a referendum, then a General Election, then a referendum, then a revoke.”

Mr Nemeth said revoking Brexit would be a betrayal.

“If Peter wins, I’ll shake his hand and wish him luck,” he said.

“There was a lot of rough and tumble during that referendum.

“But looking to the run-up to it, it’s the culmination of millions of small arguments and opinions. It all had to boil down to a very different question.

“There’s no such specific thing as Brexit to people.”

“But there, it’s the Brexit deal,” Peter Kyle said. “Brexit is a treaty, it is what Brexit is. Now we know precisely what Brexit is. Put the treaty back to the people to vote on fact instead of promises.”

Mr Nemeth said trust in politicians was at an all-time low.

“I voted Leave and my reason is my reason,” he said. “The bottom line is a certain side won and that has to be implemented. That’s how it works.”

Ms Bass said she has been shocked by the language around Brexit, including “betrayal”.

“I can see why people have less trust in politicians,” she said.

“In 2016 this was a Conservative policy put to the people. They had a majority and could have implemented it themselves.

“But they couldn’t agree with it. Boris Johnson voted against Theresa May’s deal, but his is basically the same as hers. As the truth came through, people have become fed up with Brexit.”

Ollie Sykes said revoking is “kite-flying”.

“I don’t think it seems to have worked out,” he said.

But Ms Bass says the Lib Dem members voted for the policy.

“But why are you running back on it now and going back to a second referendum?” asked Mr Sykes.