QUESTION time hit leafy Walthamstow village last night as four political parties did battle for your vote.

St Mary’s Church provided a grand setting for the political showdown between the Tories, Labour, Liberals and Greens.

Seven-time world karate champion and Conservative candidate Molly Samuel-Leport had her agent Munish Chopra fighting her corner because of a “family crisis”.

The others braving the heavy rain for chance to become Walthamstow’s MP were Labour’s Stella Creasy, Liberal Democrat Ukonu Obasi and Andrew Johns for the Greens.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Before it all kicked off

Opening pleas saw the Tories promise to be “tough on knife crime” while Ms Creasy says the country is at a “crossroads” and a vote for her is a “vote for Britain at its best”.

Mr Obasi paid respect to Elijah Dornelly, murdered on Walthamstow High Street 11 days ago, before calling himself a man with a “real job”.

Last week Mr Obasi apologised for claiming he was chief executive of Dabasi Enterprises, a company he admitted was never actually a functioning business.

Back in the room, Mr Johns stumbles a bit before saying: “We the Greens put the environment first because if we don't do that everything else is worthless."

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Stella's hoping for her second re-election

The candidates then took questions from the floor on various issues, including education, homelessness and the housing crisis.

Ms Creasy quipped: "When we see Phil and Kirsty walking down our streets, we know have a fight on our hands."

Mr Obasi said homelessness is a "shame for this country" and says the Liberal Democrats will build 300,000 house every year.

On education, Ms Creasy takes a dig at Mrs Samuel-Leport: "Frankly Munish a karate lesson isn't going to cut it if we don't have teachers in our schools."

On Brexit, Mr Chopra says Mrs Samuel-Leport will defy Theresa May by backing access to the single market.

The other three candidates all call for the public to have a say on Mrs May’s final Brexit deal.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

A grand setting

Before the closing speeches the panel is asked to describe the single most important issue in politics.

Ms Creasy says it’s “people and poverty” while Mr Obasi shouts “Brexit”.

Predictably Mr Johns says it’s the “environment” and Mr Chopra gets a few laughs with “leadership and stability”.

After the debate Mr Johns said he was glad to open the debate up.

He said: “It’s not just about Theresa May versus Jeremy Corbyn and it’s not just about Brexit as well. There are so many fights we need to be fighting.

“The environment is something that needs to be at the heart of everything we are doing and it was good to get an opportunity to tell people that.”

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

We braved the rain together 

Mr Obasi was also pleased to shows voters another choice in the election.

He added: “It’s about the opportunity to change the country, to stop a hard Brexit and give the people a chance to decide what the final deal will be.”

Mr Chopra said he tried to “represent Molly in the most authentic way possible”.

He said: “I hope I was able to put her case to the people of Walthamstow.”

Ms Creasy remarked on British society being on “precipice”.

She said: “Britain at its best has always a centre of change in the world. It has always been a world leader.

“Now we look like we’re going to become a backwater, and that’s not going to be good for the kids in Walthamstow.

“People need more than warm words, they need ideas about what you should do next. Not everyone is going to agree with me but I hope tonight I set out the things I stand for.”