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 Penzance, Cornwall, the home town of Thandie Newton. But who will put in a stellar Solo performance – and whose appearance will be an almighty Crash? Here’s who’s who and where they stand on Brexit…
Who? Children and families minister
Where is he on Brexit? Brexit backer who cited the reluctance of European leaders to change but who now backs Theresa May’s deal
The co-founder of polling firm YouGov – which is always good for getting Twitter’s more enthusiastic conspiracy theorists wound up – Zahawi was a reluctant Brexiteer who wrote for Conservative Home prior to the referendum that “there are some extremely unattractive figures campaigning to leave the EU from George Galloway to Nigel Farage and it pains me to be dragged towards them on any issue”. In the same article he wrote that David Cameron “has been assured of his place in history”, so at least he was right about something. Claimed this week that “if this deal that the PM has put forward is voted through, you will see a dividend for our country” although when pressed said “I don’t know how much in exact figures and I’m not going to sit here and speculate”. Ambitious if dull loyalist playing the nightwatchman role for the Tories tonight.
Who? Shadow business secretary
Where is she on Brexit? Remainer whose Salford and Eccles constituency voted to Leave and now appears to be walking a tightrope
The holder of Andy Burnham’s previously mantle of the shadow cabinet’s eh-up-chuck I-bloody-love-gravy-on-me-chips professional northerner, Long-Bailey continues to insist the EU will renegotiate and give a Labour government everything it asks for despite every single person involved saying it wouldn’t. Said earlier this month that “the EU have renegotiated many deals in the past and I think to suggest they wouldn’t renegotiate would be wrong”. Has said that “we also need a deal that ensures a strong single market relationship”, but also that ‘we’re not going to be able to accept full freedom of movement” so best of luck with that. A passionate Corbynista spoken of as a future leader by those who know Team Absolute Boy well, if she gets through the show without committing Labour to anything on Brexit she’ll have done her job well.
Who? Liberal Democrat education spokeswoman
Where is she on Brexit? Passionate Remainer and champion of the Best for Britain group campaigning for a second referendum
Only a Member of Parliament since last year, Moran is often talked up as a future Lib Dem leader, especially as the incumbent appears to be performing some kind of Rip Van Winkle impersonation. An eloquent spokeswoman for the Best for Britain group, she said yesterday that “in 2016, I do not believe that people who voted leave or remain voted to give their families less money at the end of the month. This is why the prime minister is looking at a colossal parliamentary defeat”. Has said of Tory MPs that “what really pisses me off is when I talk to MPs here and they go on about how annoyed they are with Theresa for doing this or that about Brexit, and then they go through the lobbies to prop her up”. As a daughter of an EU diplomat Moran grew up in Belgium, Greece, Ethiopia, Jamaica and Jordan, so is probably one of those “citizens of nowhere” the prime minister warned you about.
Who? Businessman and founder of pub chain Wetherspoon
Where is he on Brexit? Hard Brexiteer who has plastered his beermats with political messages, to the confusion of people who’d only popped in for a pre-10am livener
One of the more vocal Brexiteers in the business world, Martin has described Brexit as a “new Magna Carta”. Prior to the referendum frequently blamed the EU for tax rises which in actual fact had nothing to do with the EU; now uses his position to campaign for the hardest of Brexits (although he’d quite like his own staff to stay “since virtually no one wants hard-working immigrants from the EU to leave the UK”). Earlier this year announced he was banning booze produced in the EU, saying that selling drinks from Britain and across the world could give British customers access to “superior” products. Quite right, get rid of that crappy German and Belgian beer. Will tonight eschew wearing a suit for a polo shirt to show he’s a Proper Bloody Bloke, unlike the rest of the panel who are in it for themselves. This year’s Sunday Times Rich List estimated his wealth at £448m.
Who? Writer, dub poet and Rastafarian
Where is he on Brexit? Complicated – has said he suffered racial abuse during the Brexit campaign but that he understands the Leave cause
The poet and activist has said he had the worst motivations of some Brexit supporters ‘shouted’ at him, but added that he in fact sympathised with the urge to leave the EU. Said last week: “My whole take on Brexit was a very unusual one. From my left-wing leaning, I’d want to leave, but actually, for dealing with politics the way we have been, the reality, I’d want to stay.” Then added, in a possibly unconscious nod to the lyrics of the Kinks’ Lola, ‘It’s a very confusing, mixed-up, muddled-up, shook-up world”. Publicly rejected an OBE in 2003, saying: “Me? I thought, OBE me? Up yours, I thought. I get angry when I hear that word ’empire’; it reminds me of slavery.” Nominated for autobiography of the year at the National Book Awards this year for his work The Life And Rhymes Of Benjamin Zephaniah, he is tonight’s shoo-in for a rousing round of applause for saying something along the lines of “why don’t the politicians just get things sorted”.
Question Time is on BBC One at 10.45pm tonight (11.20pm in Northern Ireland)
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