A Palestine support group-organised general elections hustings saw only four of Ceredigion’s seven candidates offering to attend, and just two able to do so on the day.

Ceredigion Palestine Solidarity Campaign, with Heddwch Ar Waith, had organised the 25 June hustings to take place at Cardigan Guildhall, saying: “This General Election has been called at a moment when Palestinians are confronting the darkest moment in their struggle for liberation. Climate concerns, war in Europe, and the more than 100 armed conflicts across the world further endanger global stability and our economy.

“These are core electoral concerns for many Ceredigion Preseli constituents.

“This hustings is an opportunity for you to put your questions on these core issues to our General Election candidates.”

With a 4 July date set for the general election, candidates for the new Ceredigion Preseli seat are: Ben Lake for Plaid Cymru, Liberal Democrat Mark Williams, Welsh Labour’s Jackie Jones, Conservative Aled Thomas, Tomos Barlow for the Green Party, Karl Robert Pollard for Reform UK, and Taghrid Al-Mawed for the Workers Party of Britain.

The hustings, saw just four of the seven confirmed candidates agreeing to attend: Taghrid Al-Mawed, Ben Lake, Tomos Barlow, and Mark Williams.

On the eve of the meeting, this was reduced down to Mr Barlow and Mr Lake, with the other two candidates unable to attend, for work and health reasons, leading to it being cancelled at the eleventh hour.

Dinah Mulholland, chair of Ceredigion Palestine Solidarity Campaign, a former Labour general election candidate, said the decision was taken not to hold a hustings after the number of candidates was reduced to two.

“The whole issue of Palestine has been completely wiped off the news during the election; nearly all the candidates are avoiding the issue,” said Dinah, adding: “Local democracy has been undermined over this.”

She added: “I really would’ve liked to have done something, even if it was recorded answers with the candidates.

“There’s such a strong history here [in Ceredigion] of radical movements, they’ve got a really strong radical base; all of these people are the same people who have an innate support for the Palestinians. These voters are not hearing any debate about this issue, and not hearing the candidates’ views.

“When I was candidate in 2017 and 2019 I would attend every hustings, that’s what you do here, you go to all the hustings, it’s a really valuable way for people to get to know you and see you under pressure.

“If you can’t cope with the hustings you can’t cope with Westminster.”