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 Motherwell. Will Fiona Bruce continue David Dimbleby’s tradition of going to Scotland and upsetting everybody on Twitter by failing to understand which areas of policy are devolved? And which panellist will go down about as well as Russ Abbot at a cèilidh? Here’s who’s on the panel and where they stand on Brexit…
Who? Conservative peer
Where is he on Brexit? Hardline Brexiteer
Scottish secretary during the fag-end years of John Major’s premiership, Forsyth’s most recent QT appearance last January saw him hand a £10 note to Dimbleby in an impenetrable attempt to explain the EU’s finances (a move described by the Daily Express’ Matt Drake as ‘brilliant’). A firm Thatcherite first elected to Parliament in 1983, Forsyth has described anything less than a hard Brexit as ‘a constitutional outrage’. The chair of the House of Lords’ economic affairs committee, he has claimed that he was fired up as a young boy in Arbroath by witnessing the impact of the Common Fisheries Policy. Hmm. Was the inspiration for Alan Cummings’ portrayal of King James I in a recent episode of Doctor Who as one of those politicians ‘who are from Scotland but who try to pretend they’re from England with this strange hybrid of accents’.
Who? Well, quite. Shadow Treasury minister
Where is she on Brexit? Initially woolly but now on board for a second referendum
A university lecturer and MEP elected to Parliament in 2017, Dodds served 25 days on the backbenches before being promoted to Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow team, where she vies for the hotly-contested title of shortest Wikipedia entry (281 words, 120 less than little-remembered 1980s comedy band The Grumbleweeds). A Yvette Cooper supporter in 2015 who swiftly transferred her loyalty and politics to Team Jez, she said on Any Questions last month: ‘Well I guess I’m anti-Brexit. Well no, not guess, I am anti-Brexit. I didn’t think to start with that we should have another vote but the way things have gone I think now we should.’ Expect more fiery rhetoric like that tonight. Despite her personal website boasting she has spoken no less than 59 times on the need for a customs union, she came 43rd on Labour List’s poll of best Labour MPs this week with 0.3% of the vote.
Who? Culture, tourism and external affairs secretary in the Scottish Government
Where is she on Brexit? Like the rest of her party, firmly anti. Has said: ‘It is clearly in Scotland’s best interests to stay in the EU or, if that is not possible, the European single market and customs union’
The SNP’s cabinet secretary for culture, tourism and external affairs since 2011, Hyslop is one of the leading anti-Brexit voices in the Scottish Government. Has said that leaving the EU and ending freedom of movement could cost Scotland £2bn in tax revenues and that ‘the Scottish Government should have devolved responsibility for migration so we can have a migration policy tailored to Scotland’s needs’. Also says: ‘Whatever the future holds, we will remain hugely interested and involved in European developments whether within the European Union or outside.’ Staged a Lazarus-like comeback after being demoted as education secretary in 2009 after coming under sustained attack on falling teacher numbers, class sizes and school buildings. Said yesterday’s ‘special place in Hell’ comments from Donald Tusk were ‘brutal but true’.
Who? Fashion model and actress
Where is she on Brexit? Unknown
The Edinburgh-born daughter of Nigerian parents, Olumide was first spotted as a potential model when shopping on Glasgow’s Sauchiehall Street at the age of 15. Which is a bit weird. But then took a break to get a first-class honours degree in communication and mass media, a postgraduate degree in film studies and a MA in metaphysics. Awarded an MBE in 2017 for her extensive charity work mentoring young Scots. Says: ‘When I was in my early 20s, I don’t think the UK was quite ready to embrace someone with my aesthetic. But you’ve seen a huge rise right across the arts, particularly in film with Idris Elba, Adam Deacon, Noel Clarke. I do feel this is the right time for someone like me.’ Let’s stick our neck and says she’s not going to be a fully paid-up member of the Peter Bone Appreciation Society.
Who? Times journalist
Where is he on Brexit? Remainer. Has said the vote unleashed ‘viciousness, divisiveness and xenophobia for political ends’
One of those centrist dads you hear about, the son of former cabinet minister Malcolm Rifkind made international news over Christmas after tweeting a lengthy thread on how ‘the best way to understand Theresa May’s predicament is to imagine that 52 percent of Britain had voted that the government should build a submarine out of cheese’. A Scot, Rifkind has written that Brexit ‘dreams of English independence from the EU but seems to forget that England is inconveniently shackled onto a whole bunch of other places’. Wrote movingly this week of his friendship with the late comedian and left-wing activist Jeremy Hardy and how people could get along with those they disagree with – something the denizens of Twitter will ruminate on for precisely three seconds before labelling him MURDOCK TORY SCUM.
Question Time is on BBC One at 10.45pm tonight (11.20pm in Northern Ireland)