Who is on Question Time tonight? Here’s your guide…
The BBC’s flagship current affairs programme tonight comes from Weymouth, where the bouncing bomb was first tested in the Fleet lagoon during WWII. But whose performance tonight will be full of bounce – and who will simply bomb? Here’s your complete guide to the panel…
Who? Environment secretary
The former unsuccessful Ukip candidate and Head of Press for Michael Howard, Eustice was promoted by Boris Johnson in his reshuffle last week to his liberal, outward-looking Global Britain Cabinet. The choice of Environment came not without controversy, what with Eustice having a decidedly iffy voting record on climate change issues and in 2015 accepting a £5,000 donation from Neil Record, a director of the Global Warming Policy Forum, a body which believes it to be a load of old piffle. Was catapulted into his new role as much of the UK was rocked by Storm Dennis and immediately set nerves at rest by saying he would “never be able to protect every single household” and that “we have to live with that fact” before, presumably, yawning and having a cup of tea. The hardline Brexiteer claimed expenses for 29 domestic flights between London and his Cornish constituency since 2012, having told the Commons the previous year that “at a time when we are trying to discourage excessive flights, particularly domestic flights, the sleeper service provides a vital link for the business community”.
Who? Labour MP for Wirral South
Little-known backbencher whose Wikipedia entry is, at 585 words, shorter than that of 1999 American straight-to-video comedy film Soccer Dog: The Movie, McGovern was elected to Parliament in 2010 and served as parliamentary private secretary to Gordon Brown and a shadow minister under Ed Miliband. She moved to the backbenches after Jeremy Corbyn’s election as leader. Went on to chair Progress, which is either a pamphlet-peddling progressive think-tank or a far-right group of militaristic hedge fund managers little different to the BNP, depending on whether or not you’re a Corbynista. Wrote earlier this month that “unless we start thinking much more deeply about the future – rather than remaining stuck in the past – Labour will be in opposition for another decade to come”, the absolute Tory.
Sir Howard Davies
Who? Economist and chairman of the Royal Bank of Scotland
A former director of the London School of Economics and chairman of the Financial Services Authority, Davies has said that there were some business concerns that “it is taking quite a long time to get to the nitty-gritty of what a new trading relationship with the EU would be” post-Brexit. 2017, he said that. Three years ago. Has understatedly described the Brexiteers’ dreams of Britain being transformed into a low-tax, small-state “Singapore-on-Thames” as “one of the more curious notions to have emerged in the three-and-a-half years since the UK’s citizens voted narrowly to leave the EU in the fateful June 2016 referendum”. Announced last week that RBS would be changing its name to NatWest Group later this year as it seeks to distance itself from the 2008 financial crash and that whole having-to-receive-a-£45bn-bailout-from-the-taxpayer brouhaha. Was spotted last year bowing on one knee before Sir James Leigh-Pemberton, the key figure within UKGI, the government body that owns the lion’s share of RBS.
Who? Journalist with Novara Media and political activist
A senior editor at Novara Media, the alternative media site which takes on the biased, kowtowing MSM by preaching the gospel of Jeremy Corbyn, a man of unique virtue unparalleled in human history. Like her colleague Aaron Bastani, Sarkar calls for something called “luxury communism” and told Good Morning Britain she was “literally a communist”, much to the bemusement of viewers who had no idea what she was talking about and had only tuned in as Lorraine was interviewing Jack and Dani from Love Island in a bit. One of those Corbynista outriders who, in the wake of their hero’s project crashing and burning spectacularly upon collision with the electorate, chose not to take a very welcome period of silence, but rather continue to tour TV stories explaining patronisingly how actually everything he ever said and did was very popular if only it wasn’t for the media they’re now appearing on. Rose to Alison McGovern’s challenge to Labour to think much more deeply about the future this week by mocking former Change UK MPs on Twitter.
Who? Journalist, broadcaster and former Conservative politician
Beneficiary of the most unlikely transition imaginable from hardline, military-fetishising, Thatcherite headbanger whose loss of parliamentary seat ranks second only to Del Boy falling through a bar in treasured national TV moments into a pastel-colour-bedecked avuncular friendly uncle of a broadcaster who coos at Vietnamese landscapes through train windows on prime-time BBC Two. That said, the man dubbed Portaloo by Private Eye is still a fervent Brexiteer who said prior to the referendum how he hoped “that the British have more guts than those who govern us, and more than those who govern us think we have”, even if he is friendly to Johnny Foreigner when he’s on his rail trips. Admitted in 2014 that “my name is now synonymous with eating a bucketload of shit in public” – referring to the loss of his Enfield Southgate seat, rather than some weird university indiscretion – he stood for the Conservative leadership, only to somehow conspire to lose to Iain Duncan Smith – a man who went on to hold the title of worst-ever leader of the opposition until 2015.
Question Time is on BBC One at 10.35pm tonight (11.25pm in Northern Ireland)