THE Iraq war, NHS reforms and education cuts were on the agenda as the BBC's flagship Question Time debate came to Burnley tonight.

Clarets defender Clarke Carlisle became the first footballer to appear on the show, hosted by David Dimbleby.

Mr Carlisle shared the floor at Unity College with former Labour spin doctor Alistair Campbell, firebrand ex MP George Galloway, Lib Dem deputy leader Simon Hughes and Tory Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman.

Mrs Spelman suggested Burnley's A&E facilitiy could be reinstated if local GPs were in favour after a question on health reforms from a local nurse, and Mr Campbell, a Burnley supporter, pressed her to clarify.

There were dramatic exchange between old foes Mr Galloway and Mr Campbell on Iraq and the death of Dr David Kelly.

The lively audience also weighed in on the decision to cut the Education Maintenance Allowance, which was met by widespread criticism including from one current student who said the cut would mean young people pulling out of education.

Mr Carlisle, who revealed he had voted Lib Dem at the general election, said he supported the EMA but believed it was being paid to some students who did not need it.

He also called for transparency in the Chilcott Inquiry into the Iraq war, telling the audience he had a cousin currently serving in Afghanistan.

Live webchat

* The Lancashire Telegraph held a live web chat throughout the show. Click play to replay the event.