Falmer House’s Debating Chamber played host to its first debate in years as Students’ Union President Abe Baldry faced former Conservative Minister Sir Tony Baldry in a debate watched by 17 students.

The pair debated the motion ‘This house believes in the welfare state’ and students voted 11-5 in favour of the welfare state.

Tony Baldry argued that if public spending increases happiness, then the Soviet Union would have been the happiest place in the world.

Abe Baldry said that the current government has “inverted the robin hood narrative” and that current MPs think that food banks are a “normal part of society”.

President Baldry argued for the motion and Tory Tony argued against, during the event which took place on 17 February.

The event was promoted on Face- book as ‘Baldry vs. Baldry’ and was part of the Your Voice, Your Choice campaign which aims to increase Sus- sex students’ engagement with politics.

The budget for the debate was £6, taken from the Students’ Unions campaigns fund.

Tony Baldry said that Sussex has gone from “strength to strength” since his time here.

He congratulated Abe for his work at the Students’ Union, praising his “thoughtful contribution” and “well- argued points”.

Sussex is set for more debates over the coming months after the re-es- tablishment of the Students’ Union Debating Society.

Daily Mail columnist Peter Hitchens will debate former Lib Dem MP Norman Baker over the legalisation of cannabis on the 7th April at 6pm in Fulton A.

Tony Baldry studied at Sussex dur- ing the 70s and took the Students’ Union to court over payments to po- litical organisations unrelated to the aims of the Students’ Union.

This became a landmark legal case that determined the legal status of students’ unions for the first time.

Sir Tony Baldry was elected as a Member of Parliament in 1983 and served continuously as MP for North Oxfordshire until 2015.

He was Chairman of the House of Commons Select Committee on In- ternational Development in the last Parliament.

He did not stand for reelection in 2015.

Pete Humphreys and Kyle Farrell

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  • I have to make a correction here. Peter Hitchens writes for the Mail on Sunday not the Daily Mail. They are two separate papers.