WARRINGTON South's parliamentary candidates have faced off in a debate ahead of next month's General Election.

Tory David Mowat, Labour's Cllr Faisal Rashid, Liberal Democrat Cllr Bob Barr and Independent John Boulton made their way to Warrington Guardian's headquarters for the showdown this afternoon, Friday.

The politicians were quizzed on issues that readers have been raising to us over the past week during the 30-minute session.

It commenced with a discussion on the potential ramifications of Brexit, as well as whether there should be a second referendum on the final Brexit deal, as put forward in the Liberal Democrat manifesto.

Cllr Bob Barr (LD – Lymm North and Thelwall) fears Warrington is 'at risk'.

He said: "I am very worried for Warrington if Brexit goes through.

"The referendum would be on whether Theresa May's deal, as she is likely to win, is good enough."

Mr Mowat is confident the Government will secure 'the best deal possible'.

"Over the next two to three years it is, frankly, the most important period of our country's post-war period," he said.

Mr Boulton believes the country 'must move forward'.

He said: "We are just going to have to get on with it now.

"The EU is effectively frightened if this comes off smoothly.

"The decision has been made and we have to move forward."

Cllr Rashid (LAB – Chapelford and Old Hall) called for the country's decision to be 'respected'.

He said: "There are huge markets out there that we can directly approach and get some trade deals."

With health budgets at their limits, attention soon turned to the NHS and social care.

Mr Mowat, a minister at the Department of Health, shared his thoughts.

He said: "Warrington received 20 per cent uplift on money – which is available for the next three years – in the budget.

"But it is still under pressure."

Cllr Barr criticised the Tory plans set out in their manifesto.

He said: "I think we should share the cost of care for those who need long-term care.

"I would like to have seen an assurance principle involved in the care plans."

Cllr Rashid backed party leader Jeremy Corbyn's vision to solve the NHS crisis and labelled the Government's proposals as 'really concerning'.

Mr Boulton also raised his concerns.

He said: "We have to get people out of expensive hospital beds and free them up.

"The majority of hospitals built in the last 15 years have been built by a private finance initiative, which is an expensive way of building buildings."

Each politician rounded off the showdown by telling the electorate why they should be voted in on June 8.

Mr Mowat said he was 'proud' to have been the constituency's MP since 2010.

He added: "I think it will be close in Warrington South.

"The next few years are vital for this country as we find our way through the Brexit issues.

"I very much want to be supporting Theresa May, who I think gives us the best chance of getting a stable, sensible solution for Brexit to keep the prosperity in the country going.

"A particular achievement I am proud of in terms of what the Government has achieved is very low levels of unemployment, the prosperity that brings and the jobs we have created.

"I hope we are given a chance to continue."

Mr Boulton does not believe a Theresa May landslide is on the cards.

He added: "With the greatest respect, the three guys around me will be conflicted immediately, if successful.

"Their onus is on what their party leadership suggests.

"Their minds are basically towards their ruling parties.

"If you vote for an Independent, the only thing they can do is act on behalf of the constituents in Warrington South."

Cllr Barr said the Liberal Democrat policies 'are best for Warrington'.

He added: "I think Warrington has been let down badly by David – at no fault of his, he has tried very hard.

"He's made promises he can't keep.

"Warrington needs a real champion for Warrington."

Cllr Rashid, who has been mayor over the past year, said he will work 'very closely' with the council if elected.

He said: "I've shown the people of Warrington what I can do.

"People have seen I've brought lots of communities together.

"We need investment in infrastructure.

"Road infrastructure needs desperate investment in our town.

"I have a full agenda about getting some trade deals from other countries, directly with Warrington.

"I have been speaking to the leader of the council as well.

"Without working with the council it is very difficult to do what is required in Warrington."

Candidates also debated fox hunting, tolls on the Mersey Gateway Bridge, the renationalisation of services and their political ambitions.

We will be holding a debate with the Warrington North candidates from 1pm next Friday.

To watch it head to our Facebook page at 1pm.

To read up on all the action from today's debate head to our blog on the event, or go to our Facebook page to watch it.