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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 Brighton, home of actor, director and writer Jessica Hynes. But who will prove a smash hit with the audience like W1A – and who will be quickly forgotten by all concerned like According to Bex? Here’s your full guide to the panel and where they stand on Brexit…

James Cleverly

Who? Chairman of the Conservative Party

Where is he on Brexit? A backer of the hardline Leave Means Leave group, he is an enthusiastic supporter of “reconnecting with the Commonwealth” with its “shared language, common law tradition, diaspora networks and historic cultural links”

Tory party chairman and chief defender of the indefensible, former soldier Cleverly was initially handed the role of Tory deputy chairman last year on the basis they were hopeless on social media and he appeared to know how to work Tweetdeck. A partisan bruiser, he quickly transferred his personal loyalty wholesale from Theresa May to Boris Johnson and can be trusted to spend the evening rattling off the Tory buzz-phrases – “get Brexit done”, “dither and delay”, “two referendums next year with Jeremy Corbyn” – irrespective of their relevance to the question in hand. Not short of self-confidence, asked in 2015 who should succeed David Cameron as Tory party leader when he stood down, he responded: “Me.” Has admitted smoking exotic herbal cigarettes and watching special adult film time online. Often referred to as living proof of the fallibility of nominative determinism.

Clive Lewis

Who? Shadow sustainable economics minister

Where is he on Brexit? Remainer who resigned from Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet in 2017 in response to the leadership whipping the party to support triggering Article 50. Returned to the frontbench last year

A committed Corbynista who appeared to doubt his faith a couple of years ago, Lewis quit the shadow cabinet over Article 50 and called for a vote on the final deal (“anything less will see our country hopelessly divided long into the future”). After wavering following the Absolute Boy’s unexpectedly strong election showing in 2017, is now firmly opposed to Brexit. Has said: “Labour is now leading the fight against this damaging hard-right Brexit, both inside and outside of parliament. Given the overwhelming majority of Labour members and supporters are against Brexit, it is surprising this has taken so long – but doesn’t it feel great?”. A former BBC journalist, he has a habit of getting himself into trouble, most recently last year when he was accused of “mocking suicide” by appearing to simulate shooting himself during a debate in the Commons.

Alex Phillips

Who? Brexit Party MEP for South East England

Where is she on Brexit? Quite keen

Elected to the European Parliament for the Brexit Party earlier this year, Phillips was previously head of media for UKIP, defecting to the Conservatives way back in 2016 and announcing she was “extremely impressed” with Theresa May. She trumpeted that move in a post for the Conservative Home website weirdly beginning with an anecdote about how when she was 24 she had a Cameroonian-Algerian boyfriend who left cigarette ends around their house and scraped her Vauxhall Corsa. Now said to be very close to Nigel Farage, who she has described as “the sole voice that represents the 17.4m people who voted to leave”, “the person who is prepared to stand up and deliver on Brexit” and “a larger-than-life character with magnetism almost impossible to ignore”. A favourite of the Brexit Party’s in-house journal, the Daily Express, she says “17.4m people” a lot.

Liz Saville Roberts

Who? Westminster leader of Plaid Cymru

Where is she on Brexit? Strong Remainer, like the rest of her party. Campaigning for a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal

Plaid Cymru’s first female MP, London-born Saville Roberts is little-known outside of Wales and hardly a household name there. Has accused the prime minister of using Brexit to mount a “power grab” to undermine devolution, transferring power back from Brussels to Westminster rather than the devolved legislatures. Instrumental in forming the Unite to Remain initiative with the Liberal Democrats and Greens, she said the “easiest thing under the sun” for the parties to do would be to “go back to the comforts of tribalism”. A former councillor in Gwynedd, she has hinted at standing for the Welsh Assembly in 2021, last year became the first person to speak Irish in the House of Commons since 1901 and, it turns out, is an incredibly difficult person to write even a semi-humorous Question Time preview about. Destined to be “the Welsh woman” on Twitter tonight.

Chris Boardman

Who? Former racing cyclist and Olympic gold medallist

Where is he on Brexit? Remainer. Has described the standard of Brexiteers’ arguments as “no logic, evidence or reasoned debate, just insults and vitriol”

Tonight’s “well, I didn’t see that one coming” booking, Boardman took Norman Tebbit’s employment advice to its extreme, breaking the world hour record three times, wearing the Tour de France’s yellow jersey three times and taking the individual pursuit gold medal at the 1992 Olympics. Now a surprisingly waspish presence on Twitter, opposing Brexit and encouraging people to sign up to vote, as well as serving as Greater Manchester’s commissioner for walking and cycling and campaigning to increase cycling take-up. Nicknamed ‘The Professor’, he tweeted earlier this week that he was appearing on QT “to ensure everyone is aware I’m politically unviable” which, coincidentally, is also what Cleverly is unwittingly doing.

Question Time is on BBC One at 10.45pm tonight (11.20pm in Northern Ireland)

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