Who’s on the BBC’s Question Time tonight?

Fiona Bruce, presenter of the BBC's Question Time programme. Photograph: BBC.

Fiona Bruce, presenter of the BBC's Question Time programme. Photograph: BBC. - Credit: Archant

Who is on the BBC Question Time panel tonight? Here's your full guide

Tonight's Question Time comes virtually from Cardiff, with audience members submitting questions from the Welsh capital via video. But who's on the panel? Here's your complete guide...

Robert Buckland

Who? Justice secretary

Mid-ranking Cabinet minister who was a media regular for the Conservatives during last year's election campaign as he was considered a safe pair of hands - a polite way of saying that Buckland is almost unbelievably dull. A Remain backer in the referendum who performed an about-turn upon discovering the remarkable effect being a Brexiteer had on one's career, the Welshman was a barrister and a serial election loser before successfully contesting Swindon South in 2005 and has since slowly risen without trace, serving as solicitor general and a no-doubt-transformational two months as prisons minister before being promoted to the Cabinet by Boris Johnson. This week piloted the bill bringing in 'no-fault' divorces in England and Wales through its first stage in the Commons in the face of opposition from many Tory MPs who, despite being almost entirely Brexiteers, in this case perversely back trapping people in loveless relationships.


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Vaughan Gething

Who? Welsh health secretary

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Wales' health secretary since 2016, Zambian-born Gething has been seen as having broadly had a good coronavirus crisis, at least in comparison to the clowns next door. A Senedd member since 2011, he was the youngest president of Wales' TUC at the age of 34 and has been spoken of as a future first minister - which would make him not only the first mixed-race person to lead Wales, but also the first non-Welsh-speaker. Made UK-wide headlines in April when, in a virtual meeting of the Senedd, he left his microphone on and was heard asking 'what the f**k is the matter with' Corbynista Labour MS Jenny Rathbone - although, to be fair, your correspondent used to cover Welsh politics and can confirm there is literally nobody who has not at some point wondered what the f**k is the matter with Jenny Rathbone.

Liz Saville Roberts

Who? Westminster leader of Plaid Cymru

Plaid Cymru's first female MP, London-born Saville Roberts is little-known outside of Wales and hardly a household name there. The former Gwynedd councillor wrote this week that 'the British State has had its time – now we need and can have an independent Wales that puts people, honesty and efficiency at the heart of our politics'. Also took the knee in a virtual protest against racism, saying: 'I am encouraged to see this level of youth engagement in anti-racism campaigns. The voices of young people in politics has never been so important.' In 2018 became the first person to speak Irish in the House of Commons since 1901 and, it turns out, is also an incredibly difficult person to write even a semi-humorous Question Time preview about.

Rocco Forte

Who? Hotelier

The chairman of Rocco Forte Hotels, a knight of the realm and a man of considerable wealth, Forte is also - gasp! - a Conservative who paid for a victory party for Boris Johnson in one of his hotels the night he won the Tory leadership, and donated £100,000 he found down the back of his sofa to the party during last year's general election. A keen Brexiteer, he told the Evening Standard last year that 'I've supported Boris for years — he's the one who'll unite the country! I hate these ghastly personal attacks on him! It's because journalists are jealous of him for being successful, and men envy his success with women.' Is unbothered about the impact of Brexit on his £34m luxury hotels group, saying of his EU staff 'they'll all stay here' and on the cost of EU visas 'I haven't budgeted anything'. Obviously a details man, his solution to ending centuries of deeply embedded racism should be worth listening to tonight.

Bernardine Evaristo

Who? Writer, author, novelist, activist

Novelist who this week became the first female writer of colour to top the mass market fiction chart with Girl, Woman, Other, which won the Booker Prize in 2019 and was also one of Barack Obama's favourite books of the year. Remember when we had US presidents who read books? Evaristo is a longstanding advocate for the inclusion of writers and artists of colour and co-founded Britain's first black women's theatre company, Theatre of Black Women, in the 1980s. Wrote this week: 'We're open to conversations, but why are they always so one-sided? It's rather like someone shutting the door in your face and then asking you to peer through the letterbox in order to explain to them why you feel left out and to tell them what they can do about it.' As a student at drama school Evaristo worked in a Wimpy restaurant which, for younger readers, was like McDonald's for people who could use cutlery.

Question Time is on BBC One at 10.45pm tonight (11.25pm in Northern Ireland)

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