Question Time tonight features a virtual audience drawn from Chelmsford, hometown of McFly drummer Harry Judd. But who’ll be OK – and who will have you saying sorry’s not good enough? Here’s your guide to the panel…
Who? Justice secretary
Mid-ranking Cabinet minister confirmed late in the day as the government’s representative, Buckland is considered a safe pair of hands in Downing Street – a polite way of saying he is almost unbelievably dull. A Remain backer in the referendum who performed an about-turn upon discovering the remarkable effect being a Brexiteer had on one’s career, Buckland was a serial election loser before successfully contesting Swindon South in 2005 and has since slowly risen without trace, serving as solicitor general and a no-doubt-transformational two months as prisons minister before being promoted to the Cabinet by Boris Johnson.
Who? Shadow schools minister
Cherub-faced MP for Ilford North and a former president of the National Union of Students, 37-year-old Streeting has been a junior shadow education minister since last October. A centrist, backer of Jess Phillips’ short-lived and esoteric bid for the Labour leadership and hate figure for the Corbynistas, he was a firm campaigner for a People’s Vote on a Brexit deal. Last night reacted to a picture of a dishevelled Boris Johnson and David Frost alongside Ursula von der Leyen and Michel Barnier by tweeting “the absolute state of this”, leading the Daily Express to run a story about a “social media backlash” against him, citing two critical tweets.
Who? Former Australian prime minister
Former Australian PM who you can be forgiven for not knowing as, like Watford managers, they tend not to remain in situ long enough for it to be worth the effort of learning their names. A member of the Tories’ sister Liberal Party, he may however be a disappointment who see a deal with Australia a substitute for EU membership despite it having the population of Romania and being literally on the other side of the world: earlier this year he said that “the problem that Britain faces today is is simply this: in an age of rising protectionism, the United Kingdom has chosen to walk out of the biggest free trade area in the world”.Oh.
Who? Professor of European politics and foreign affairs at King’s College London
Media-friendly Brexit expert dubbed “the rock star prof” (he has an earring and told The New European earlier this year that “this life suits me, because I’ve got a big head and I like the sound of my own voice”) and this week’s token Person Who Might Actually Know What They’re Talking About. Director of the UK in a Changing Europe think tank, the go-to body for Brexit analysis over the past few years, he wrote with colleague Jill Rutter this week that Brexit “resulted from the nature of our politics – adversarial, intolerant of compromise and pushing politicians to more extreme positions than the voters who put them there”. Which leads us to…
Who? TalkRadio presenter
Voice of reason here to ask WHY YOU THICK REMOANERS DON’T GET IT as 17.4m people voted for Brexit – THE MOST WHO’VE EVER VOTED FOR ANYTHING – and THANK GOD because once we’ve escaped the jackboot of the EU WE’LL FINALLY BE ABLE TO STOP THE VICAR OF DIBLEY TAKING THE KNEE. Also an opponent of coronavirus lockdown measures who REFUSES TO BE MUZZLED because technically MORE PEOPLE HAVE DIED FROM PAPER CUTS THIS YEAR THAN SO-CALLED COVID and we didn’t wear masks during the Blitz when we stood alone against Hitler who THE REMOANERS WOULD HAVE SIGNED ALL OUR BRITISH FISH AWAY TO.
Question Time is on BBC One at 10.45pm tonight (11.30pm in Northern Ireland)