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 Dudley Town Hall, which later this month plays host to 1980s comedian Jimmy Cricket. But from which panellist will you want to hear ‘there’s more’ – and which won’t know their left from their right? Here’s your panel and where they stand on Brexit…
Who? Conservative MP for Esher and Walton and blink-and-you’ll-miss-it former Brexit secretary
Where is he on Brexit? Arch-Brexiteer
Brought into the Cabinet to replace David Davis and met his opposite number Michel Barnier as many times in his first 34 days in office than his predecessor did in a year – but then quit in November last year in order to campaign against the withdrawal agreement he had himself negotiated. In the weird psychodrama that is today’s Conservative Party, that is enough to make Raab an outsider for the leadership once Theresa May departs. Most memorable contribution to his time in office was his admittance he ‘hadn’t quite understood’ the importance of the Dover-Calais crossing for UK trade. Said last week that a no-deal Brexit was ‘absolutely’ better than a delay, saying ‘we must be ready to face down the EU, here and now’. Forced to deny claims last year from a former aide that he had the same lunch every day (Pret’s chicken Caesar and bacon baguette, superfruit pot and vitamin volcano smoothie).
Who? Labour MP for Derby South and former foreign secretary
Where is she on Brexit? Firm Remainer who has accused Theresa May of ‘tearing up our constitution’ and Brexit itself as ‘the biggest con of all’
Veteran Labour MP who held high office in the days when the Scissor Sisters and Snow Patrol ruled the airwaves, Christiano Ronaldo was the young player of the year, Jeremy Corbyn was an ignorable oddball and leaving the EU a niche pursuit. The woman who famously said ‘f**k’ upon being handed the Foreign Office is a leading supporter of a People’s Vote, saying ‘politics is about choices. And over the past two years Theresa May has made all the wrong ones on Brexit’. One of the Labour MPs who lent Corbyn her nomination for the 2015 leadership election, later labelling herself, not inaccurately, a ‘moron’ for doing so.
Who? Journalist, it says here
Where is he on Brexit? Former Lexiteer who now opposes Brexit, albeit without much enthusiasm
Leading proponent of the exciting transformation of journalism from the production and distribution of reports on recent events to shouting at people on Twitter. A columnist for The Guardian – where presumably he isn’t paid by the word, given most of them are ‘I’ or ‘me’ – Jones is also said to be in the WhatsApp group of unofficial media outriders prepared to spread the gospel of the Absolute Boy because the leader of the opposition’s office don’t trust most of the shadow cabinet. Wrote in 2015 that ‘the case for Lexit grows ever stronger, and – at the very least – more of us need to start dipping our toes in the water’. Now argues for ‘a Labour-managed Brexit that doesn’t shred our links with the EU and turn Britain into a low-regulation tax haven’. Was the soothsayer who predicted Russell Brand’s endorsement of Ed Miliband in 2015 would swing Britain to Labour.
Who? Conservative commentator and columnist for The Times
Where is he on Brexit? Self-styled ‘moderate Brexiteer’ who now comfortingly argues no-deal Brexit ‘is not the end of the world’
Former editor of The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday, Caledonia’s leading voices of unionism, Martin is now the co-founder and editor of right-wing opinion site Reaction. Regularly refers to himself as a ‘moderate Brexiteer’, last month urging the European Research Group ultras to vote for May’s withdrawal deal and ‘get Britain out of the EU, out of the institutions and [be] determined to improve a bad deal later’. Called this week for ‘a new New Labour’ saying ‘the Tories, tending as usual to overconfidence and incompetence after too long in power, need a proper challenge’. Has enjoyed Twitter scraps with his fellow Times columnist, former Tony Blair speechwriter Philip Collins, the modern-day equivalent of giving one’s colleague a punch up the bracket outside Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese in Fleet Street in the good old days.
Who? Chief executive of Barnardo’s
Where is he on Brexit? Position means he steers clear of political positioning. Strongest intervention to say that it was ‘vital’ the UK remained members of cross-border agencies like Europol and Eurojust
Tonight’s strong contender for Worthy Individual Who Will Nevertheless Struggle To Get A Word In Over Mouthier Panellists, Khan has been chief executive of Barnardo’s since 2014, having previously been chief executive of Victim Support. Was among a number of children’s charity chiefs who signed a blog for Huffpost in December saying ‘whatever comes out of Brexit, our focus needs to return to the fundamental issues which will shape the lives of future generations’. Sadly, most of today’s children are expected to be long retired and living in Jeff Bezos’ pods on the Moon by the time Brexit is anything close to sorted. Shares his name with a magician who won last year’s India’s Got Talent, who would at least have been a bit of a laugh.
Question Time is on BBC One at the new time of 10.35pm tonight (11.15pm in Northern Ireland)