A DEBATE in the week before the crunch European referendum is being held in Cradley with two of the Black Country's most high profile politicians going head to head.

Stourbridge and Cradley MP Margot James, who wants the UK to remain in the EU, and UKIP West Midlands MEP Bill Etheridge, who favours Brexit, will be debating the issues in Wilson Hall on Monday, June 20 at 7.30pm.

The EU - Leave or Stay? debate will be chaired by media personality Bob Hall and is the brainchild of Kevin Powis.

He said: "I wanted to create a platform where both sides of the EU debate could be heard and challenged.

"I had the idea of a debate like this on a local stage and wondered if I could find two high profile representatives with opposing views."

He added: "When I approached Bill and Margot they were both up for the challenge straight away.

"I think it's great that what could be a high profile debate is centred right here in Cradley."

Mr Powis hopes the debate will raise the profile of Cradley.

He said: "It puts a spotlight on the town, even if it's just for one night and The Wilson Hall have been great making such a large venue available to us."

"I wanted someone with gravitas to chair the debate and when my first choice, Bob Hall, was available and willing to do it I was thrilled."

And Mr Powis said he hopes that the venue will be packed to see the political sparring.

He said: "We are set for an informative debate just a few days before the referendum so I hope the local residents will turn out and support the debate."

Mr Etheridge said: "June 23 is the most important vote in any of our lifetimes.

"Do you want to look forward to a bright and positive future with the UK standing up for itself and its citizens the envy of the world or are you frightened by David Cameron and his chums who think this country and its people are worthless."

Ms James said: "Britain is better off in Europe. Britain is safer in Europe. And in Europe, Britain has greater global influence.

"The out campaign are selling a pup in trying to persuade people that a country outside the union can have favourable terms of trade with the EU, without having to comply fully with all the conditions of that single market in common with fully paid up members."

For more information on the debate visit the Facebook page The EU - Leave or Stay?