Who is on Question Time tonight? Here’s your guide
Tonight’s audience-free Question Time virtually comes from Rugby – in that they won’t actually be in the egg-chasing Warwickshire town, but have sought out video questions from its inhabitants. But who’s on the panel? Here’s your complete guide…
Who? Health secretary
A one-time candidate for the Conservative leadership, he dropped out of last year’s race after coming sixth in the first ballot of MPs with 20 votes. Said during the campaign that the idea of suspending parliament ‘goes against everything those men who waded onto those beaches fought and died for – and I will not have it,’ an opposition that he dropped rapidly once appointed to Boris Johnson’s cabinet and the PM did indeed suspend Parliament. Like Groucho Marx, Hancock has principles and, if you don’t like them, he’s got others. Once the proud purveyor of a Matt Hancock app called Matt Hancock, which allowed users to watch live video streams of Matt Hancock and had to change its policies following concerns about its use of data, he also boasted he was prepared for a no-deal Brexit as he was the world’s largest buyer of fridges. Now worryingly in charge of dealing with coronavirus.
Who? Labour MP for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford and chair of the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee
A one-time Labour leadership candidate in 2015, Cooper ran a campaign so dispiritingly bland it allowed an eccentric backbencher with no experience of anything to win and lead the party to its most crushing election result in 84 years. Has since devoted her time as chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee having held the portfolio in the shadow cabinet under Ed Miliband. Previously served as chief secretary of the Treasury and work and pensions secretary under Gordon Brown in a government which now seems precisely one million years ago. Has been critical of the government’s response to the coronavirus crisis, saying ‘the only ‘social distancing’ advice I can find on the NHS or government websites is very gentle’. Her husband did a funny dance on television.
Who? Archbishop of York
The 97th Archbishop of York, Metropolitan of York, and Primate of England, Sentamu is the second-most senior cleric in the Church of England. Broadly a traditionalist in the Church, he has publicly criticised multiculturalism and the legalisation of same-sex marriage, but contrary to traditional Christian moral teaching has supported cohabitation before marriage, saying ‘We are living at a time where some people… want to test whether the milk is good before they buy the cow’. RUDE. Sentamu is also a keen tweeter, proffering useful advice during the coronavirus lockdown such as ‘Let us pray, as the Polynesian fishermen pray as they go out fishing in their canoes: ‘Lord, my boat is so small and your ocean (moana) is so vast, guard me with your presence’.’ Also, wash your hands.
Who? Chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing
This week’s beneficiary of Question Time’s new policy of booking people who might actually know what they’re talking about, the chief executive of the nurses’ union may be able to offer more practical advice in dealing with the country’s worst modern-day health crisis beyond praying as the Polynesian fishermen pray. Has held the role since 2018. Kinnair has demanded intervention over nurses’ lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) during the pandemic, calling the situation ‘unconscionable’ and saying: ‘I am hearing from nurses who are treating patients in Covid-19 wards without any protection at all. This cannot continue. They are putting themselves, their families and their patients at risk.’ Conspiracy-seeking Boris-backers on Twitter may note that her surname is a portmanteau of two Labour leaders since 1983.
Question Time is on BBC One at 8.05pm tonight