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 Cannock, the Staffordshire town in which TV writer Jed Mercurio grew up. But who will be a runaway ratings success like Bodyguard – and who will be a quickly-forgotten ’70s throwback like The Grimleys? Here’s who’s who and where they stand on Brexit…
Who? Northern Ireland secretary
Where is she on Brexit? Remainer who now says that a second referendum would deliver an even bigger majority for Leave
A low-profile Northern Ireland secretary, Bradley suggested she might do well to keep it that way after telling House magazine in September she had not understood Northern Irish politics before being appointed, saying: ‘I didn’t understand things like when elections are fought, for example, in Northern Ireland – people who are nationalists don’t vote for unionist parties and vice versa.” Addressing a meeting of the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly last month said the people had already spoken. “I personally think, from my knocking on doors, there would be a bigger vote for Leave,” she said. “The fact is the people spoke. We had a People’s Vote.” Wriggled when asked how she would vote, saying it was “a hypothetical question”. One of the ministers tasked with solving the issue of the border, which it is not inconceivable to believe she thinks is a bookshop.
Who? Shadow Treasury minister
Where is he on Brexit? Soft Remainer who resigned from Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet last year in response to the leadership whipping the party to support triggering Article 50. Returned to the frontbench this year
A committed Corbynista who appeared to doubt his faith last year, 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”). Following Labour’s unexpectedly strong general election showing, though, Lewis praised Corbyn’s ambiguous approach to Brexit, saying the result “vindicate[s] the leadership for taking the kind of position they have to try and hold both parts of the country together”. Said to be fiercely ambitious, he is now fully back on board with Project Absolute Boy. A former BBC journalist who has since admitted to inserting bias “in a very subtle way”, he has a habit of getting himself into trouble, most recently, er, yesterday when he was accused of “mocking suicide” by appearing to simulate shooting himself during a debate in the Commons.
Who? Managing director of Iceland Foods Group
Where is he on Brexit? Said last week that there was ‘no other option’ but to agree on the draft deal put to Cabinet by Theresa May
A hip young gunslinger in the frozen foods world – not only does he have a Twitter account, its header shows him surfing – he has been MD of the erstwhile Bejam (ask your parents, kids) for more than four years. On Brexit has said that a second referendum would be the ‘biggest own goal the Westminster elite could do’ while leaving without a deal was ‘economically not an option’. Says: “We voted to leave and this proposal regains as much control as we can expect whilst still keeping us open for business with our biggest trading partner.” Currently making hay after Iceland’s Christmas advert, about the impact of palm oil on rainforests and orangutans, was banned for being too political, giving it a billion times more publicity than had it simply aired during Emmerdale. So sound on ecological matters, but on the other hand does flog kebab pizzas for a quid.
Who? Writer, broadcaster and former chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC)
Where is he on Brexit? Senior Remain campaigner who said it lost the referendum partly because it made Brexit voters feel like ‘closet racists”
A member of the board of official pro-EU campaign Britain Stronger in Europe, Phillips has since written a book, Brexit: Why Britain Voted To Leave the European Union, that claims voters felt talked down to by politicians. Says: “Whatever we said to ourselves we were thinking, we contrived with every single breath by virtually every single spokesperson for Remain to imply that we thought, as David Cameron suggested, that Brexiteers were ‘closet racists’.” Has also branded as “completely wrong” claims Brexit has heightened the occurrence of hate crimes across Britain. The former Labour London Assembly Member was a controversial chair of the EHRC and has has spoken on the need for free speech to “allow people to offend each other”, which is at least something which should get the thumbs-up from…
Who? Right-wing radio presenter and commentator
Where is she on Brexit? Really?
This week’s booking to avert any danger of more light than heat being generated, 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 and WHY CAN’T YOU REMOANERS GET THAT INTO YOUR THICK HEADS. Told Alastair Campbell of this parish, campaigning for a People’s vote last week: “If Leave win, people like you – you’re still not going to accept the verdict. You’re still going to say we’re all ignorant, stupid, bigoted racists and didn’t know what we were doing.’ More recently had a stab at resurrecting first-wave feminism by attacking Little Mix for posing naked while painted with all the insults they’ve had flung at them.
Question Time is on BBC One at 10.45pm tonight (11.20pm in Northern Ireland)
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