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Who is on the BBC Question Time panel tonight?

Question Time presenter Fiona Bruce. Photograph: BBC. - Credit: Archant

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 Beckenham, the south-east London town which gave the world Bob Monkhouse. The funnyman once said: “People always say, ‘You’re a comedian, tell us a joke.’ They don’t say, ‘You’re an MP, tell us a lie.'” And with that, who’s on the panel and where do they stand on Brexit…?

Grant Shapps

Who? Transport secretary

Where is he on Brexit? Remain voter who is now one of the cabinet’s most ebullient hard Brexiteers

Brought back into frontline politics by Boris Johnson after being humiliatingly demoted from the cabinet by David Cameron in 2015, Shapps wrote after the referendum: “I was a Remainer, but I have embraced the new direction of the country. I am backing Brexit all the way, as hard as you like, and I’m bullish about the UK’s future.” Like Groucho Marx, those are his principles, and if you don’t like them… well, he has others. Best known for living a double life as an internet marketing salesman called Michael Green while he was an MP, something he described as a “joke” or “normal”, which it is most definitely is, obviously. Was wheeled out this week to defend leaked documents insinuating the UK would treat EU nation countries that want a Brexit extension harshly, saying: “The point I am making is there are just consequences all around.” Or maybe that was Michael.

Lisa Nandy

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 spoke of the abuse she 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”. Likely to be one of the Labour MPs Boris Johnson would seek to peel off and encourage to vote for any withdrawal deal, she was spoken of as a potential future leader before the party went mad.

Theo Paphitis

Who? Retail magnate and entrepreneur

Where is he on Brexit? Voted for Brexit; now takes to the airwaves to complain that the government is distracted by Brexit

One of the few businessmen with a public persona to vote in favour of Brexit, the Dragon’s Den star wrote before the referendum that “I believe that if we vote to leave the EU there’s a very high chance that our friends in the EU will stop and smell the coffee and propose the sort of reforms that many would like to see and would make them comfortable to remain”, suggesting he might be better off sticking to flogging staplers. Told Forbes Cyprus magazine this summer that the handling of Brexit had had repercussions on the country’s overall business environment, saying: “We knew that it would hurt but, unfortunately, it hurts more than we had anticipated,” A former financial backer of ex-Brexit secretary and golf club bore David Davis, he fils tonight’s “I’m not a politician, but…” role.

Rupert Read

Who? Academic, Green Party campaigner and spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion

Where is he on Brexit? Co-authored a report which concluded “Brexit may well turn out to be a disaster. But this is not inevitable: there are many different possibilities for the UK after it leaves the European Union”

A reader in philosophy at the University of East Anglia and a member of Norwich City Council, where we can assume what he thinks of city centre pedestrianisation, retailers’ access to Dixons or not. A prominent supporter of Extinction Rebellion – hence his booking tonight – he has said: “This is an emergency, an unprecedented emergency. It dwarfs any other emergency we’ve known, including even World War II. And we will be judged by our children by how we respond in this emergency.” Has called for three ‘citizens’ assemblies’ on democratic and constitutional reform, the climate and ecological emergency and Brexit. Shared a stage with week with the prime minister’s father, Stanley Johnson, who told a crowd at Extinction Rebellion’s London demonstrations that he backed their methods and was proud to call himself an “uncooperative crusty”.

Julia Hartley-Brewer

Who? Right-wing radio presenter and commentator

Where is she on Brexit? Really?

Part of the triumvirate, along with Isobel Oakeshott and Camilla Toveney, of posh right-wing women journalists now apparently reserved a weekly seat on the QT panel. Hartley-Brewer is a former Sunday Express political journalist turned shock jock, now plying her trade on talkRADIO. While ministers and civil servants grapple with the numbers, Hartley-Brewer has only one and that’s SEVENTEEN POINT FOUR MILLION and that’s THE MOST PEOPLE WHO HAVE EVER VOTED FOR ANYTHING. Refers to opponents as REMOANERS and then looks very pleased with herself as – tee hee! – they’re REMAINERS and they’re MOANERS so GEDDIT? Says it is time to “cut our losses” and walk away from EU “bully boys” with our “heads held high”, but has yet to treat her listeners to the detail on how she envisages just-in-time trade arrangements and roll-on-roll-off freight operations at Dover to function once we’ve done so.

Question Time is on BBC One at 10.35pm tonight (11.55pm in Northern Ireland)

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