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 Swindon, home of new wave rockers XTC. But who on the panel is making plans for Nigel (Farage) – and who would be better off running for Mayor of Simpleton? Here’s your full guide to the panel and where they stand on Brexit…
Who? Minister of state for security
Where is he on Brexit? Campaigned for Remain but says he would now vote Leave, describing himself as “first and foremost a democrat”
One of the most regular media faces in this campaign despite both looking and sounding like someone has typed “generic Conservative MP” into a 3D printer and whacked whatever came out in front of a camera, the former Tory Party chair has a curious habit of looking on the verge of falling asleep, A Theresa May loyalist who acted as a buffer between the long-forgotten former prime minister and the pro-Brexit grassroots, he quickly transferred his loyalty wholesale to Boris Johnson. Seen as a bit of a slowpoke by colleagues and foes alike, he is perhaps best known for breaking Parliamentary protocol last year by voting twice for the government on its trade bill despite being paired with Jo Swinson, who was then on maternity leave. Tweeted this week that he’d had a “busy day on the campaign trail helping colleagues in the fight to beat Labour & return a @conservatives government to #getbrexitdone and deliver for our education sector, health service & police as well as infrastructure investment.” You can expect much more of that unscripted, fiery rhetoric tonight.
Who? Shadow transport secretary
Where is he on Brexit? Soft Remainer. Broadly sympathetic to the EU but aware that his Middlesbrough constituents voted to leave by 65.5%
Shadow cabinet member so spectacularly ineffectual you almost certainly haven’t heard of him, despite the fact that he shadowed the most incompetent cabinet minister in Chris Grayling for almost the entirety of the last Parliament and pretty much anyone else would have had his head on a stick within a month. Former councillor who was brought into Jeremy Corbyn’s top team in 2016 when everybody else quit and has since made as much an impression in the role as Val Kilmer’s portrayal of Batman. Did, however, engage in an unedifying bout of what football commentators used to call “handbags” with Dominic Raab following last week’s Question Time leaders’ special over whose party was the most racist (each said the others’, in case you were wondering). Speaks rarely on Brexit but when he does it’s on-message platitudes, keeping to the line that a jobs-first Brexit could be completed in a jiffy if only Corbyn and his winning smile were doing the negotiating in Brussels. A jobbing backbencher in any normal Parliament, McDonald may narrowly pip Brandon Lewis for this week’s Person You Forgot Was Even On The Panel Within Two Minutes Of It Finishing.
Who? Green Party candidate for Brighton Pavilion and the party’s only MP in the last Parliament. No longer the party’s leader, although everyone thinks she is
Where is she on Brexit? Firmly against, Lucas was one of the few MPs to vote against triggering Article 50 and continues to urge resistance to Britain’s EU departure
The two-time and almost certain future Green leader is a firm Brexit opponent, but earlier this month employed the language of the billiard hall in denouncing the Liberal Democrats for their policy of stopping Brexit without a second referendum, saying “if you wanted to send a message to 17.4m people that you don’t give a fuck about what they just said, why don’t you just say so?”. Go on, you’ve got another five seconds. Say something outrageous. Says that “the planet is more important than Europe” and “there are some things that are bigger than Brexit and the climate emergency is certainly one of them”. Agreed to the Greens joining the Unite to Remain alliance with the Lib Dems and Plaid Cymru although it “was not a cause of a euphoria because what we’re having to do is basically game a horrible electoral system that doesn’t allow people’s votes to translate into seats”. Has an unfortunate habit of using her meagre media opportunities to bemoan the meagre media opportunities the Greens get.
Zanny Minton Beddoes
Who? Editor-in-chief of The Economist
Where is she on Brexit? Firmly anti. The Economist came out early and firmly against Brexit and continues to rage against it in its pages
The 17th, and first female, editor-in-chief of the magazine which continues to insist it’s a newspaper even though it’s quite clearly a magazine, Minton Beddoes is this week’s token person who might actually know what they’re talking about. A former advisor to Poland’s finance minister and economist at the International Monetary Fund, she took the helm at the Economist in 2015 having previously been responsible for coverage of global economics and business. Has steered the magazine in an explicitly anti-Brexit direction, earning it thundering rebukes in Dacre-era Daily Mail editorial columns, which must have been baffling for readers who had never heard of the magazine and only buy the paper for Fred Bassett and those five-part AA road atlases they give away once a year. Minton Beddoes has written that “old-established polities, such as Britain and America, are not about to become one-party states, but their democracy is already showing signs of decay. Once the rot sets in, it is formidably hard to stop”. Big ideas, to be countered by Brandon Lewis saying “get Brexit done” and Andy McDonald talking about bus services in Stockton-on-Tees.
Who? Journalist and author
Where is she on Brexit? The American is an ardent Brexiteer
Has described Europe in 2029 as “one that is so overwhelmed with Africans and Middle Easterners that there isn’t a sort of Italy anymore, or a France, or a Belgium. It makes me a little sad, with the waffles and stuff”. Told the BBC’s Any Questions? last year that the only reason talks around the Irish border issue in the Brexit negotiations were proving to be problematic was that the EU was trying to use it as an excuse to stop Brexit going through. Maybe that makes her a little sad, with the Guinness and stuff. Says the EU “has grown into an autocratic behemoth that most citizens of Europe never intended to join”. A Spectator columnist and professional controversialist who has accused the #MeToo movement of going too far and was last year dropped from the judging panel for a writing competition run by magazine Mslexia and accused of racism after she questioned Penguin Random House’s diversity and inclusion policies. Still best known for her 2003 novel We Need to Talk about Kevin though.
Question Time is on BBC One at 10.45pm tonight (11.25pm in Northern Ireland)