Who is on Question Time tonight and where do they stand on Brexit? Here’s your guide…
The BBC’s flagship current affairs programme returns tonight from Leeds Beckett University’s Headingley campus. But who’s on the panel – and where do they stand on Brexit? Here’s who you can expect…
Who? Deputy chairman of the Conservative Party
Where is he on Brexit? Passionate Brexiteer
A former soldier, Cleverly was handed the role of Tory deputy chairman in January on the basis they are hopeless on social media and he appeared to know how to work Tweetdeck. A backer of the hardline Leave Means Leave group, he is an enthusiastic backer of “reconnecting with the Commonwealth” with its “shared language, common law tradition, diaspora networks and historic cultural links”. Not short of self-confidence, asked in 2015 who should succeed David Cameron as Tory party leader when he stood down, he responded: “Me.” Has admitted smoking exotic herbal cigarettes and watching special adult time online.
Who? Shadow attorney general
Where is she on Brexit? Campaigned to Remain but has since said there is no going back and that Labour’s priorities are “jobs and the economy”
The former director of civil rights group Liberty, she was handed a peerage and role in the shadow cabinet in 2016, coincidentally after penning a report clearing Jeremy Corbyn’s party of anti-semitism. Has said: “My understanding is you are a member of the EU or you are not, but countries that are not members of the EU then negotiate the nature of their relationship with the EU — and we want a close relationship with the EU and ideally one where you keep your tariff-free access to that single market.” The daughter of Bengali immigrants once called “an anarchist in a barrister’s wig” by late lads’ mag Loaded, Chakrabarti made her name as a liberal in the noughties but is now fully on board with Project Corbyn.
Who? SNP MP for Glasgow South
Where is he on Brexit? Anti. Has asked “Wtf has Brexit unleashed?!”
A 31-year-old former holiday rep and Question Time debutant, McDonald became the first SNP member to represent Glasgow South after he won 55% of the vote in 2015. A campaigner against unpaid trial shifts at work, he deleted his personal Facebook page a year ago, which you can expect to hear about tonight. The vocal LGBT campaigner has described the SNP group at Westminster as the “gayest group in Westminster, with over 12% of us being out and homosexual”. Tipped as one for the future among SNP ranks.
Who? Journalist, presenter and transgender rights activist
Where is she on Brexit? Strongly opposed and has called for a second referendum
A bisexual trans woman and feminist, in 2013 Lees became the first openly transgender panellist on Question Time, winning praise from commentators. A former number one in the Independent on Sunday’s pink list of powerful LGBT people, Lees has worked with a number of media outlets to provide guidance on covering transgender people. Although “devastated” by the referendum result, has also said “you can disagree with someone’s politics and still think they’re a good person”, which should enrage the QT Twitterati more than anything else she says tonight. Has appeared in Hollyoaks.
Who? Journalist, author and Mail on Sunday columnist
Where he is on Brexit? Pro-leave, but did not vote in the referendum as he is against them. Has argued for the UK to stay in the EEA
Highly divisive columnist who reassures Mail on Sunday readers every weekend that they are right and Britain really is going to Hell in a handcart. Anti-drugs and a believer that pornography “permanently poisons the mind”, Hitchens has written that “If I never again had to read or write a word about homosexuals, I would be very happy” and attacked “transgender zealots as “a threat to freedom of speech and thought”. In short, the rest of the panel could have been selected just to annoy him – had he not described Baroness Chakrabarti as “an asset to the country” and “a good addition to the House of Lords”. Has not appeared in Hollyoaks (yet).
Question Time is on BBC One at 10.45pm tonight (11.15pm in Northern Ireland).