Question Time tonight features a virtual audience drawn from Lincoln, the city where the tank was first invented and tested during World War I. But who will come out all guns blazing – and who will just, er, tank? Here’s your guide to the panel…
Who? Well, quite. Minister for immigration compliance and the courts
Barely a household name in his own household, Philp got his current role last year, also spending a transformational two-month spell as minister for London. One of the many Remain supporters who have since pivoted to backing the hardest of Brexits having noted the remarkable effect it can have on one’s career, his is a truly romantic struggle to the top: Oxford University, work at consultants McKinsey and then founding a property development lending firm and chairing a right-wing think tank before being elected to Parliament. Voted against extending free school meals to the poorest children during holidays last week.
Who? Shadow home secretary
One of the beneficiaries of Keir Starmer’s cunning ploy to detoxify Labour after the Corbyn era by packing his shadow cabinet with people literally nobody had ever heard of, the former lawyer was elected to Parliament in 2015 and is already on to his fourth shadow ministerial post. The sort of ultra-dry party loyalist who issues press releases titled ‘Nick Thomas-Symonds MP welcomes local community funding boost’ and spent weekends tweeting pictures showing how great it was to be out on the #LabourDoorstep in the days when being on people’s doorsteps was appropriate. Will stick to the Starmer line on the anti-semitism report.
Marie van der Zyl
Who? President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews
An employment lawyer once described as the 40th most influential Jew by the Jerusalem Post, van der Zyl said after the EHRC report on Labour anti-semitism today that it was a “damning verdict on what Labour did to Jews under Jeremy Corbyn and his allies” which proved why “British Jews were so distressed and it disgraces those who attacked us for speaking out against anti-Jewish racism”. But Corbyn’s wife said that people should “PLEASE BOYCOTT THE POISON MAINSTREAM MEDIA AND STAND WITH THE BEST INTERNATIONAL LEADER AND ANTI RACIST ACTIVIST”, so who knows who to believe? (Van der Zyl, in case you miss the irony.)
Who? Playwright, critic and, most importantly, New European columnist
One of our own, as the football fans chant, Greer is a long-standing New European columnist as well as a novelist and broadcaster who has lived in the UK since 1986. As anti-Trump as she is anti-Brexit, she has expressed fear that he will, against all odds, retake the White House, writing that: “It remains to be seen whether Joe Biden will defeat Trump. All of the indices indicate that he will. But never underestimate the politics of grievance; the politics of nostalgia and the politics of exclusion.” As she writes: “Like Boris Johnson, Trump is a sign that the nation has lost its compass.”
Who? Former White House communications director
Trump’s communications director for a whopping 11 days in 2017 – a period which makes Brian Clough’s stewardship of Leeds United seem like an aeon – the man known as The Mooch is now a fervent critic of the president. Arguably still best known for an interview he thought was off the record in which he accused Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon of attempting an anatomically demanding form of relaxation (Google it if you must), he described Trump this week as “a ridiculous liar” and “a bully” who believes “he is preventing the latte-sipping black transvestites from taking over your culture and ruining your country”. Is campaigning against his re-election, largely through Mortal Kombat gifs on Twitter.
Question Time is on BBC One at 10.45pm tonight