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 the National Assembly for Wales in Cardiff Bay, the famed home of Shirley Bassey. But who will prove the man with the Midas touch – and who will beckon you into his web of sin? Here’s who’s on the panel and where they stand on Brexit…
Who? Chairman of the Conservative Party
Where is he on Brexit? A backer of the hardline Leave Means Leave group, he is an enthusiastic backer 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. Promoted by Johnson. A partisan bruiser, he has publicly questioned whether a no-deal Brexit would really harm the economy. Fiercely ambitious, he quickly transferred his personal loyalty wholesale from Theresa May to Johnson, insisting to the Today programme this morning that the PM “did not use word betrayal” in Parliament yesterday (he used “betray”, the verb being apparently acceptable). 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.
Who? Leader of Plaid Cymru
Where is he on Brexit? Firm Remainer calling for a People’s Vote
A former MP for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, he was elected to Wales’ National Assembly in 2016 and last year successfully challenged Leanne Wood for the leadership of Plaid. Has called “clearly and unequivocally” for a referendum on the final Brexit terms, saying “there’s an emergency cord on this train and we have to pull it… because the British political establishment have proven themselves so singularly unable to deliver anything, Brexit or otherwise”. Has said that Wales should hold a referendum on independence if a series of demands are not met after Brexit, including cuts in VAT for tourism and construction and for the devolution of powers over air passenger duty. Possessor of the most booming Welsh oratory since Tom Jones last told the tale of how he jammed with Elvis, his appearance should hopefully give us the delight of James Cleverly attempting to pronounce Plaid Cymru.
Who? Businesswoman and scourge of the government who has now defeated it twice in court over Brexit
Where is she on Brexit? She doesn’t like it
Miller is the businesswoman whose fight to stop the government forcing through Brexit without giving Parliament a say ended in triumph at the High Court. Beat the ‘second Brexit court case syndrome’ this week when she was one of a number of parties to launch and win legal action against Boris Johnson’s proroguing of Parliament, a decision which he insisted was nothing to do with Brexit, and whose overturning he says is a ploy to stop Brexit. Miller faced abuse and death threats from ardent Leavers over the first court case, with one man sent to prison for posting “£5,000 for the first person to ‘accidentally’ run over this bloody troublesome first generation immigrant” on Facebook. Not actually a committed Europhile – her cause is the more legalistic one of the executive stripping power from the legislature – Miller is unlikely to crack many jokes.
Who? Shadow solicitor general
Where is he on Brexit? Sits for Torfaen, which voted 60% to Leave. Loyally sticks to line this could all be sorted if only Jeremy Corbyn and his winning smile was conducting negotiations in Brussels
Not even a household name in his own household, the former lawyer was elected to Parliament in 2015 and is already on to his third shadow ministerial post without anyone noticing. The sort of ultra-dry party loyalist who issues press releases titled ‘Nick Thomas-Symonds MP welcomes local community funding boost’ and spends weekends tweeting pictures showing how great it was to be out on the #LabourDoorstep. Struggled badly on BBC Two’s Andrew Neil Show last night in explaining how Labour would outlaw private schools without appropriating property or limit university entry to 7% of privately-educated students when 15% are privately-educated at sixth-form level. The author of biographies of Nye Bevan and Clement Attlee, Thomas-Symonds was named ‘One to Watch’ at the 2015 Welsh Politician of the Year awards in what was presumably quite a fallow year.
Who? Leader of the Brexit Party in Wales’ National Assembly
Where is he on Brexit? He’s the leader of the Brexit Party in Wales’ National Assembly (see previous answer)
Attendee of more parties than Gemma Collins, Reckless has been – deep breath – a Conservative MP for four years before defecting to UKIP, a UKIP member of the National Assembly, a defector to the Conservative group (although not the Conservative Party) in the Assembly and, since May, a member of the Brexit Party. He was appointed leader of said party, which rails against “unelected Brussels eurocrats”, by Nigel Farage in May. Despite such ideological peripateticism is still best known for two things: (1) missing a vote on the Budget in 2010 because he “did not feel it was appropriate to take part in the vote because of the amount he had drunk” and (2) being dubbed by David Cameron a “fat arse” following his defection to UKIP. Despite being a member of the Assembly, is as English as a sexually-repressed Morris dancer.
Question Time is on BBC One at 10.35pm tonight (11.15pm in Northern Ireland)