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 Thetford, the Norfolk town best known for being where Dad’s Army – the TV series Conservative MP Mark Francois believes to be a documentary – was filmed. But who won’t panic – and who’ll be a stupid boy? Here’s who’s on the panel and where they stand on Brexit…
Who? Chair of the Treasury Select Committee and Conservative MP for Loughborough
Where is she on Brexit? Remain backer who called for a soft Brexit and now backs a deal
A former education secretary who was unceremoniously sacked by Theresa May upon taking office – she wreaked revenge, of sorts, in an arcane row about the cost of the prime minister’s trousers – Morgan is one of the few remaining vocal centrists on the Tory backbenches. A fervent Remain backer who was one of the Telegraph’s “mutineers” and was described as “wet behind the ears” by the Mail, she initially mused vaguely about a government of national unity or “a special select committee of senior members of Parliament to hammer out what we mean”. Has since moved to backing a deal hatched with ultras Jacob Rees-Mogg and Steve Baker which was quickly rubbished by EU officials. Holder of one of the most powerful parliamentary watchdog roles, she has backed Brexiteer Michael Gove for the Tory leadership, saying he is “ready to lead and has a track record of delivery”. A former City lawyer who always looks disconcertingly shocked, Morgan was once replaced by an expensive designer handbag after pulling out of Have I Got News For You.
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 earlier this year: “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. Seen by colleagues as “safe”. Most interesting fact about Anneliese Dodds: she has used the word ‘bricolage’ – the construction or creation of a work from a diverse range of things that happen to be available – twice in parliamentary debates, making her the only MP to use the word in the past 219 years.
Who? SNP spokesman on business, energy and industrial strategy and MP for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey
Where is he on Brexit? Like the overwhelming majority of his party, pro-Remain
MP since 2015 and a former council leader, Hendry is a vocal supporter of a second referendum. Said in April that the people of Scotland must choose between “Britain and Brexit” or “Scotland and Europe”, saying: “We have seen cross-party votes in the Scottish Parliament ignored, the MPs that represent Scotland ignored in this process, and we have seen the 62% remain vote in Scotland ignored by Westminster.” Added that being an independent country would “better match” Scotland. “It has got to the stage now where something has to be done to give the people of Scotland the choice between the future with Britain and Brexit, or Scotland and Europe.” The chair of Parliament’s all-party parliamentary group for the terminally ill, he was most recently in the news when a chip shop in his constituency, McLeod’s Fish and Chips, won the Best Fish and Chips in Scotland award. “It’s great that we can now boast that we are home to the nation’s best chippy,” he beamed.
Who? Editor of the Daily Mirror
Where is she on Brexit? Anti. Has described voting for Brexit as “like the worst hangover you have ever had”
Editor of the Labour-supporting tabloid – back in the leadership’s favour after calling for Corbyn to resign in 2016 and later recanting – Phillips also writes a weekly column. Her paper walks a tightrope between opposing both the Tories and a second referendum. Media commentator Roy Greenslade has written: “While the Mirror, going back to the 1960s, has been consistently pro-EU, its editors are aware that a great swathe of its largely northern-based working-class readership is known to be antipathetic to the EU.” Phillips herself wrote in her column this week that “Jeremy Corbyn… seems to have handled the Trump visit poorly. Protesting against a racist, sexist, climate change denier is great for protesters to do. Because that’s all they can do. A future PM shouldn’t just be protesting for change – he should be effecting power for change.” The former Brighton Argus, Woman and Sunday People journalist was also launch editor of The New Day, which was short-lived but printed on lovely paper.
Who? Journalist and television personality
Where is he on Brexit? Remain voter who now thinks his fellow anti-Brexiteers should “get over it”
A Remain voter – he has said that “we lost” – Morgan now wins applause from the Brexit press daily for his attacks on Remain guests during his inexplicably popular Good Morning Britain. Said this week he now supports a no-deal Brexit, arguing the UK should “swallow a bit of pain, take the no-deal option and we work all of this out after we have actually made a damn decision and we leave”. On economic warnings, added Gove-style: “I don’t believe all of these experts.” A friend of Donald Trump’s after appearing on his Celebrity Apprentice, he interviewed the president this week in a performance which made Lorraine Kelly look like Jeremy Paxman. Morgan has said: “He calls me ‘Champ’ because I won Celebrity Apprentice. It’s cool having the US president call you Champ.” Linguistic experts have concluded this might be the saddest sentence ever uttered by a grown adult human being. Like Phillips, was editor of the Daily Mirror, but was sacked after publishing crudely faked pictures of British soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners. Should have asked some experts.
Question Time is on BBC One at 10.35pm tonight (11.15pm in Northern Ireland)