LEADING politicians returned to York last night for a radio debate focusing on a week of turmoil.

BBC Radio 4’s Any Questions? programme was broadcast from St Edward the Confessor Church in Dringhouses, with presenter Jonathan Dimbleby’s guests including Conservative Party co-chairman Sayeeda Warsi, deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman and Mail On Sunday columnist Peter Hitchens, all former York students.

They were joined by Joseph Rowntree Foundation chief executive Julia Unwin and a 200-strong audience at the church.

The programme opened on the topic of this week’s UK riots.

Questioned on whether Home Secretary Theresa May ordered special constables to be mobilised amid the violence, Baroness Warsi said: “Who said what and at what time is deeply petty – we should rise above that and say the police have done a damn good job and we value them for keeping our streets safe.”

Ms Harman said: “We have a strong and proud tradition of the police being independent and it is worrying they seem to feel the Government has trodden on the wrong side of the line.”