Who is on Question Time tonight? Here’s your guide…
The BBC’s flagship current affairs programme tonight comes from Harpenden, Hertfordshire, the former home of Stanley Kubrick. But who will redefine the way politics is viewed like Dr. Strangelove – and whose performance will be very quickly forgotten like Eyes Wide Shut? Here’s your complete guide to the panel…
Who? Justice secretary
Mid-ranking Cabinet minister who was a media regular for the Conservatives during the election campaign as he was considered a safe pair of hands – a polite way of saying that Buckland is almost unbelievably dull. A Remain backer in the referendum who performed an about-turn upon discovering the remarkable effect being a Brexiteer had on one’s career, the Welshman was a barrister and a serial election loser before successfully contesting Swindon South in 2005 and has since slowly risen without trace, serving as solicitor general and a no-doubt-transformational two months as prisons minister before being promoted to the Cabinet by Boris Johnson. Now set to pilot emergency legislation ending automatic release for terrorism offenders through Parliament in the wake of last weekend’s attack in Streatham. Called in the police during the general election campaign after Anglo-Saxon pranksters changed his election poster to read “Robert F*ckland”.
Who? Labour MP for Walthamstow
Labour MP for the East London borough of Walthamstow since 2010, Creasy is a popular whipping girl from both the left – she is on record as not believing Jeremy Corbyn is a man of unique virtue unparalleled in human history – and the right, being prominent in the campaign to ease abortion restrictions in Northern Ireland. Came under fire from Corbyn’s outriders in 2017 when it emerged she had been to see Shed Seven at the Brixton Academy with Tory MP Therese Coffey (their beef was with her socialising with a Conservative, not the entirely reasonable criticism it was Shed Seven). More seriously, an advertising agency apologised for running a campaign against her by an anti-abortion group including a billboard featuring a foetus and the words “Stop Stella”. Made history at the end of last year as the first MP to appoint a locum for her maternity cover and has posed with her daughter in a sling for her official parliamentary portrait.
Who? Acting co-leader of the Liberal Democrats
Co-leader of the Lib Dems (along with party president and incredibly obscure pub quiz answer Mark Pack) following Jo Swinson’s defenestration, Davey served as energy and climate change secretary in the coalition. Was at the forefront of the party’s ultimately unsuccessful dilution of its core message on Brexit during the election campaign from revoking Article 50 to stopping a Tory majority, telling Sky News: “We want to stop Brexit. That is the policy and we want to do that democratically. The most likely way is us having a People’s Vote.” Was attacked for telling his party’s conference last year that many Leave voters “didn’t really care” about leaving the EU. Speaks French, German and Spanish – the sort of thing to make the heads of some audience members even more puce than usual. Odds-on favourite with the bookies to be the next permanent leader and get a question at PMQs every eight months.
Who? Journalist and author
Corbynista commentator once described by Iain Dale as “one of the few Corbyn-supporting commentators to be taken seriously by the media”, Shabi has urged Labour not to tack back to the centre in the wake of its biggest election defeat for 84 years. Said after the election that “Time and again the leftward tack taken under Corbyn has proved popular in polling — elements of it have even higher support following this election campaign”. Hmmm. Was revealed last year to be part of a private WhatsApp Group called ‘Greggs’, named after the popular pasty-peddler and set up by Corbyn’s communications staff with sympathetic journalists and columnists to coordinate election messaging and social media attack lines. Would have been expected to back Rebecca Long-Bailey/Long Bailey for the leadership, but mocked her for calling for “progressive patriotism”, saying “Also why not inclusive nativism, qualified diversity, cautious illiberalism and moderate patriarchy to boot?”.
Who? Actor, presenter and campaigner
An actor who has neurofibromatosis and has been involved in outreach programmes to prevent bullying associated with deformities, Pearson starred alongside Scarlett Johansson in 2013’s what-on-earth-have-I-just-watched film Under The Skin. A presenter on Channel 4’s Beauty and the Beast: the Ugly Face of Prejudice on Channel 4, Pearson is also casting researcher for that channel’s The Undateables and presented the BBC Three documentaries, Adam Pearson: Freak Show and The Ugly Face of Disability Hate Crime. Has spoken of the bullying he endured growing up in South London, saying: “I got called names in the playground, all stemming from the old cinema tropes: Quasimodo, The Joker, the Elephant Man, Scarface, Blofeld. Those are the things that get thrown around. Creativity was sorely lacking in Croydon in the 90s.” Now campaigns for Changing Faces, the leading charity for the 1.3m people in the UK with a visible difference.
Question Time is on BBC One at 10.35pm tonight (11.15pm in Northern Ireland)