Who is on Question Time tonight and where do they stand on Brexit? Here’s your guide…
The BBC’s flagship current affairs programme tonight comes from Aylesbury’s Waterside Theatre, which tomorrow night unaccountably hosts a screening of the 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. But who will ride high in the charts like Bryan Adams – and who will walk away with a Golden Raspberry like Kevin Costner? Here’s who’s on the panel and where they stand on Brexit…
Who? Conservative MP for North East Somerset and chair of the hardline European Research Group of Tory MPs
Where is he on Brexit? Aye. You’re joking, right?
Leader of the headbanger, moon-on-a-stick wing of Tory MPs who congregate under the European Research Group banner, the Old Etonian has somehow managed to craft an image of a politician of stature in post-Brexit Britain despite having no frontbench experience. Rees-Mogg’s reactionary, often extreme views tend to be masked by the fact that he’s a funny old chap who is polite, speaks Latin, wears double-breasted suits on Saturdays and probably doesn’t know who The Beatles are. Darling of the tabloids and a favourite of party members, who have presumably looked at Labour electing a inflexible, eccentric hardliner with no frontline experience and a tendency to keep dubious company as leader and thought ‘we’ll have a bit of that’. Social conservative who, while campaigning to hand back control to Westminster, takes his steer on morality, particularly same-sex marriage and abortion, very much from Rome.
Who? Labour MP for Wigan
Where is she on Brexit? Remain campaigner whose constituency’s 63.9% vote to leave has seen her make her peace with the decision
Former junior spokeswoman under Ed Miliband, Nandy served in Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet until after the Brexit referendum when, in common with many of her colleagues, she concluded he was rubbish and quit. Very much the epitome of Labour’s ‘soft left’, she served as co-chair of Owen Smith’s campaign when he challenged Corbyn and has since spoken of the abuse she has received from Corbynistas, comparing it to the far right. A Remainer, she said last year that ‘I don’t feel there is a strong appetite for a second referendum’ and that ‘it feels to me that having had that debate and had the questions settled as far as most people are concerned, the result would be very much like the last one, if not more emphatic for Leave’. Spoken of as a potential future leader before Labour went mad.
Who? Internet entrepreneur and co-founder of Wikipedia
Where is he on Brexit? Remainer and backer of a People’s Vote. Has described Brexit as ‘nonsense’
The co-founder of Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia which anyone can edit to say Vernon Kay has died in a tragic yachting accident, is a self-proclaimed Objectivist, the individualist philosophy invented by writer Ayn Rand. Has described himself as ‘centre-right’ but is also said to have had an offer to help Ed Miliband’s Labour with its social media strategy turned down. Although that’s from Wikipedia, so take it with a pinch of salt. When trade body TechUK called on MPs to back Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement in November, Wales responded with ‘Speak for yourself. To whatever extent I am a voice within the UK tech sector, I am calling on MPs to back a People’s Vote. And I will campaign that we vote to reject this whole nonsense.’
Who? Economist at left-wing think tank the IPPR and economics commentator at The New Statesman
Where is she on Brexit? Lexiteer. Wrote last month that ‘the EU’s institutions are an innate obstacle to building a socialist economy’
Hard-left economist likely to make a bold bid for Paul Mason’s record on the number of times ‘neoliberalism’ can be said in 60 minutes on BBC One. One of the exotic breed known as Lexiteers, Blakeley champions Brexit on their esoteric notion that the only thing blocking the UK’s inevitable path to the command economy its citizens thirst for is its membership of the EU. Wrote last month that ‘the essence of the case for Lexit is that it is not possible to implement socialism without a confrontation with capital and its representatives in institutions such as the EU’ and that ‘far from advocating ‘socialism in one country’, then, Lexit supporters aspire to construct an alternative international order’. More likely to launch a lengthy repudiation of Friedrich Hayek than engage with the inevitable end-of-show comedy question on whether the panellists scrape the mould from their jam.
Who? Comedian with the rare distinction of being a Conservative voter
Where is he on Brexit? Brexiteer. Makes the argument for sovereignty and decries suggestion Leave voters are ‘racist, stupid or politically extreme’
The much-vaunted ‘only Conservative voter on the comedy scene’ – which must have come as news to Jim Davidson – Norcott is carving out a niche for himself on shows such as Mock The Week and The Mash Report. No Rees-Moggite – he has described the ERG as ‘having the word ‘research’ in their name but not being able to ascertain how many of them were just giving it the big’un after a glass of port’ – his criticism has been of ‘the EU project, its expansion, its economic inertia, the possibility of it coming unstuck in the medium-term future’. Says: ‘It’s been excruciating to watch the Remainers in control trying to contort the deal into what they think Leavers want, like a partner wearing a weird outfit they’re convinced you love.’ Tonight’s shoo-in for tomorrow’s inevitable Daily Express Online headline for SHUTTING DOWN REMOANERS.
Question Time is on BBC One at 10.45pm tonight (11.20pm in Northern Ireland)