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 Northampton, hometown of Radiohead’s Thom Yorke. But who on the panel will offer no surprises – and who will be left high and dry? Here’s who’s on the panel and where they stand on Brexit…
Who? Work and pensions secretary
Where is she on Brexit? Firm Remainer during the campaign, now one of the strongest voices in the Cabinet for a soft Brexit
One of the most vocal Remain voices in the referendum campaign, she delivered one of the zingers when she told an ITV debate that skirt-chasing Boris Johnson was “the life and soul of the party but… not the man you want driving you home at the end of the evening”. Has since described it as “a phrase that continues to haunt me” amid rumours she could form a joint Tory leadership bid with the former foreign secretary, a ticket dubbed “the Bamber alliance” by some political journalists with too much time on their hands and an obsession with retweets. Forced to quit as home secretary in April 2018 over the Windrush scandal but back in the Cabinet seven months later, largely due to Theresa May’s limited options. Said to be the organising force behind the operation that forced a reluctant May to allow a vote on extending article 50 when no deal was agreed by March 12.
Who? Well, quite. Shadow economic secretary to the Treasury
Where is he on Brexit? Remain voter in the referendum who now only reluctantly backs a second referendum. In unrelated news, his Stalybridge and Hyde constituency voted 59.29% to Leave
Labour loyalist who has set about making contacts in the City after succeeding Richard Burgon, who refused to fraternise with the enemy. A former councillor and political assistant to Labour Cabinet minister turned BBC bigwig James Purnell, Reynolds has been described by City A.M. editor Christian May of all people as “not your typical Corbynista. He’s popular in the Square Mile and at home in the brief”. For further evidence he isn’t your typical Corbynista, he has also been an officer of Labour Friends of Israel. Actually, the more you learn about him the more you wonder how he’s still there. Barely a household name in his own household, his task tonight will be to hold firm to the line the party would offer a People’s Vote to avoid a “damaging Tory Brexit”. Is a judge in the British Kebab Awards. “Kebabs have been an important part of my life,” he has said, touchingly.
Who? Change UK MP for Broxtowe
Where is she on Brexit? She dislikes it so much she resigned from the Conservative Party and joined the Independent Group, now Change UK
Plain-speaking former business minister and one of the “Three Amigos” of Tory MPs who ditched their party in protest at Theresa May’s capitulation to the party’s headbanger Brexiteer wing. In office under David Cameron, she left government after Theresa May attempted to foist the ignominy of being Liz Truss’ number two on her. One of the MPs denounced as “mutineers” on the front page of the Daily Telegraph after indicating she would be voting against the government’s efforts to fix the date of Brexit – for which she received death threats – she had long said she would not stay in a Tory party led by Boris Johnson or Jacob Rees-Mogg. Has questions to answer about Change UK’s difficult parturition and where it stands vis-à-vis the newly resurgent Liberal Democrats.
Who? Leader of the Brexit Party
Where is he on Brexit? Oh, fuck off.
Who? Entrepreneur, economist and businessman, best known for founding mop-peddler JML
Where is he on Brexit? Hard Brexiteer. Supporter of the no-deal-backing Leave Means Leave campaign group
Businessman who founded JML, the consumer product firm specialising in things you didn’t think you needed because you don’t. One of the loudest Lexiteer voices in the Labour ranks, he has campaigned to get Britain out of the EU for 40 years, writing a series of Eurosceptic economic papers which found favour with the late Tony Benn. Says: “I think Jeremy Corbyn is still rather in that frame of mind. I think it was one which was shared by Tony Benn. Tony Benn was particularly exorcised about lack of democracy in the European Union, and that’s another theme that has been running through the left critique of it.” Will almost certainly give a closer insight into Corbyn’s thinking than Jonathan Reynolds. Tweeted last month: “Time to cut our losses. WTO now.” Bromance with Farage quite possible.
Question Time is on BBC One at 10.35pm tonight (11.15pm in Northern Ireland)