Candidates challenging for the West Central London Assembly constituency met at a school for a hustings ahead of the elections on May 5.
The event was organised by pupils from Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School near Holland Park for first-time voters and saw four of the five candidates challenging for the constituency, which includes Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea and Hammersmith and Fulham, attend and debate.
They were Tony Devenish (Conservative), Mandy Richards (Labour) Annabel Mullin (Liberal Democrat) and Jennifer Nadel (Green Party). UKIP candidate Clive Egan did not attend, but his place was taken by the party’s Ealing and Hillingdon candidate Alex Nieora (UKIP).
The audience was made up of sixth formers from across the constituency including students from London Oratory in Fulham.
One of the most heated discussions on the evening centred around the legalisation of drugs and proposed banning of legal highs.
Ben Farmer, a 17-year-old Cardinal Vaughan pupil who chaired the event, said: “Conservative Devenish took a hardline approach, against any relaxation of drug laws whilst Nieora for UKIP seemed unsure of the official policy but was personally open to a changing of drug laws.
“Similarly Richards, the Labour candidate, thought a system like that in Amsterdam could be seen in London.”
Other points which the candidates clashed over included the Garden Bridge project and how to tackle rising house prices in the capital.
Ben continued: “It was great to hear a range of views from across the political spectrum especially considering this was the only event where the candidates from all the main parties for the West Central seat were in one room together ahead of polling day.
"We had some challenging questions from the audience and I tried to put the candidates under some real pressure.
“It was fantastic to have such a good turnout which proves young people do care about politics and those after their vote.”