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Who is on the BBC Question Time panel tonight?

Question Time presenter Fiona Bruce. Photograph: BBC. - Credit: Archant

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 Westminster, returning one week earlier than planned due to [checks] the UK’s centuries-old unwritten constitution being wrenched apart by a bunch of scorched-earth ideologues led by a mendacious, immoral narcissist and a profane, psychopathic advisor in a gilet. It’s unlikely Fiona Bruce will use that exact wording, though. But who’s on the panel – and where do they stand on Brexit?

Kwasi Kwarteng

Who? Business minister

Where is he on Brexit? A firm Brexiteer

A right-winger who has authored books on Margaret Thatcher, Kwarteng’s loud televised attacks on opponents tend to get glowing coverage on the Express’ website, which regularly breathlessly reports he had BLASTED or, more usually, SHUT DOWN Remoaners. A former financial services analyst thought to harbour big ambitions, he effortlessly transferred his unquestioning loyalty from Theresa May to Boris Johnson upon the latter’s election and was the first minister sent out to defend the sacking of proto-Marxist entryists such as Ken Clarke and Nicholas Soames from the party this week. Dismissed his own government’s Operation Yellowhammer warnings on the dangers of a no-deal Brexit, saying: “I think there’s a lot of scaremongering around and a lot of people are playing into Project Fear and all the rest of it.” Was was on the Trinity College team which won University Challenge in 1995 and DESTROYED their opponents.

Emily Thornberry

Who? Shadow foreign secretary

Where is she on Brexit? Blew hot and cold for a long time after the referendum but now firmly in favour of Remain following a second vote

Thornberry won few plaudits last year for saying that Labour would “probably” back Theresa May’s agreement, saying: “What’s the nature of the divorce? And I think if past evidence of the last few months is anything to go on, it’s going to be a ‘blah, blah, blah’ divorce.” Now a firm backer of a second referendum and Remain, saying Labour would be “off our bloody rockers” not to back it – the sort of off-message comment that saw her being replaced as Jeremy Corbyn’s stand-in at prime minister’s questions by the far more servile Rebecca Long-Bailey. Says: “No ifs, no buts as Boris Johnson says, we should put it back to the people.” Probably Parliament’s most accomplished performer of the theatrical eye-roll, she is seen as likely to stand for the leadership when Seumas Milne finally allows Corbyn to stand down aged 107.

Layla Moran

Who? Liberal Democrat education and digital, culture, media and sport 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 2017, Moran was quickly talked up as a future leader, choosing not to stand this year as she could not take on the “busy role” of leading the party while fulfilling her duties as an MP after just two years in the job. An eloquent spokeswoman for the Best for Britain group, she wrote this week that “though the Liberal Democrats have been clear and consistent, while walking between appointments in Parliament Square, I have been called a traitor, and worse,” adding “I will always believe that my vote, and the votes of my Lib Dem colleagues, are the best thing I can do to save this country from a no-deal Brexit and save it from Boris Johnson”. As the daughter of an EU diplomat Moran grew up in Belgium, Greece, Ethiopia, Jamaica and Jordan, so is probably one of those “citizens of nowhere” Theresa May warned you about.

Ian Blackford

Who? Leader of the SNP in the House of Commons

Where is he on Brexit? Strongly anti, along with the rest of his party

A former banker who was seen as initially struggling to fill the considerable shoes of his predecessor Angus Robertson as the nationalists’ man in London, Blackford is now a surer performer. Boris Johnson’s first PMQs this week showed his strategy vis-à-vis the SNP would be to remind people that they favour Scottish independence – so like Theresa May, but louder and, the polls would indicate, even more counterproductively. Blackford said this week that Johnson was “behaving like a dictator more than a democrat” as he called on the prime minister to “finally act to remove the threat of a catastrophic no-deal Brexit”. But backs calls for the October election the PM desires, saying it would be a “fantastic opportunity” for Scots to demand a second vote on independence. Last year led a walk-out of SNP MPs from the Chamber during PMQs for reasons nobody, possibly including those involved, can remember.

Richard Tice

Who? Chairman of the Brexit Party and MEP for the East of England

Where is he on Brexit? He’s the chairman of the Brexit Party

Businessman who told the Commons’ Treasury Committee in 2016 that “the Norwegian Option, the Swiss Option, the Canadian Option – all these suggested outcomes would be preferable to remaining inside the EU”. Now chair of the party which pursues the crash-and-burn, sever-all-links, brick-up-the-Channel-Tunnel no-deal Brexit which the British public desire and were under absolutely no illusions what they were voting for in the referendum. Co-founder of the hardline Leave.EU campaign group with Arron Banks, he made his money in housing development and debt advice and was previously a large donor to the Conservative Party. Showed his commitment to Leave in all its forms last year when he left his wife for sort-of journalist Isabel Oakeshott, who broke the story of the leaked cables which brought down the US ambassador Sir Kim Darroch.

Iain Dale

Who? Broadcaster, commentator and publisher

Where is he on Brexit? A vocal Leave voter and supporter, the LBC presenter has always stressed his opposition to the EU as an entity (he is a German-speaker who has said “being European is… part of my identity). Made several attempts to become a Conservative MP before turning to blogging and eventually becoming an award-winning presenter at the cabbies’ favourite, where he employs a unique approach of being civil to people he disagrees with. Has said he has “a deliberate policy of not using the word ‘Remoaner'”. But says of the constitutional crisis: “What amuses me greatly in this debate are the howls of outrage from Remainers in all parties who think it is disgraceful that the government is using parliamentary means to give effect to its policies, and yet they are quite happy themselves to use those very same means to thwart them.” A successful publisher, he once wrestled a pensioner on Brighton seafront.

Question Time is on BBC One at 10.35pm tonight

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