Who is on the BBC Question Time panel tonight?
PUBLISHED: 13:48 31 January 2019 | UPDATED: 12:11 01 February 2019
Who is on Question Time tonight and where do they stand on Brexit? Here’s your guide...
The BBC’s flagship current affairs programme tonight comes from Lincoln’s Drill Hall, which tomorrow night plays host to tribute show The Magic of the Beatles. But who’s looking forward to saying Hello, Goodbye to the EU - and who already wants to Get Back? Here’s your guide to the panel and where they stand on Brexit...
Who? Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party for Women
Where is she on Brexit? Voted for Remain but now firmly in the ‘let’s get on with it’ camp
Barely a household name in her own household, the MP for Faversham and Kent has been dubbed the ‘Tatler Tory’ for being the only one of 10 Conservative MPs tipped for the top by the Hooray Henriettas’ magazine to make it to and remain in the Commons. A former Remainer, she now says on Brexit: “When I get back from Parliament my children are often already fast asleep. I look at them curled up under their duvets and think how we must get this right for them and all the others like them, whose future is in our hands.” Seriously. She said that. The former management consultant’s Kent seat is one of those likely to be hit hardest by a no-deal Brexit, which she opposes. Was criticised by constituents for her enthusiastic tweeting from Donald Trump’s inauguration (in a suspiciously Russian-looking hat).
Who? Shadow justice secretary
Where is he on Brexit? Broadly anti, as much as he understands what it is
Thomas Becket. Thomas Wolsey. Sir Francis Bacon. All these people have served as Lord Chancellor. And, if Labour come to power anytime soon, they will be joined by Richard Burgon, a man of whom one could most charitably say you wouldn’t want on your Only Connect team. The Simpsons’ Ralph Wiggum made flesh, the uber-loyal Corbynista tends to struggle with issues beyond his immediate brief and, to be fair, those within it as well. But highly tribal and prized by Team Absolute Boy for being pugnaciously anti-Tory, even if they have to write what the Irish backstop is on his hand before sending him out to battle. While vague on Brexit, is a firm supporter of Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro, which makes his appearance tonight propitious.
Who? Chief executive of Siemens UK
Where is he on Brexit? Avid Remainer
An Austrian-British citizen, Maier is one of those foreign types whose very existence is enough to drive Conservative MP Mark Francois into a teeth-gnashing frenzy. Described by no less than the Daily Express as “a Remoaner business leader” who “appears more interested in friendship than the best deal for Britain”. Friendship, eh? The cad. Chief executive of Siemens UK since 2014, he wrote earlier this month: “Thinking back to the referendum campaign: are there any core claims left that have credibility? The money, the easy trade and separation deal with the EU, the global trade deals piling up on our doorstep. Were those making these promises convinced that these could be met? Or were they being irresponsible and misleading our nation?”. Hmmm. What do you think?
Who? Businesswoman who won the court case forcing the government to give Parliament on Brexit
Where is she on Brexit? She doesn’t like it
A late substitute for John Barnes - as presumably David Fairclough was unavailable - Miller is the businesswoman whose fight to stop the government forcing through Brexit without giving Parliament a say ended in triumph at the High Court. Has since faced abuse and death threats from ardent Leavers. One man was sent to prison for posting “£5,000 for the first person to ‘accidentally’ run over this bloody troublesome first generation immigrant” on Facebook. Not actually a committed Europhile - her cause was the more legalistic one of the executive stripping power from the legislature - Miller has nevertheless become a heroine of the Remain movement. Has said that “prejudice is now worn as a badge and a sleeve of honour as people walk through the streets of Britain”. Unlikely to crack many jokes.
Who? Daily Telegraph associate editor and “one of the UK’s leading royal experts”, according to her website
Where is she on Brexit? Hardline Brexiteer. Says “the public voted for Brexit” a lot
Former Sunday Express political editor who decamped to the Telegraph last summer to take up the position of Associate Editor (Politics and Royals) Detail-light but rhetoric-high, says that the public “did know what they were voting for, because they haven’t changed their mind”. Claimed to have been proved right on Brexit in 2017 when she visited the EU’s seats of power in Brussels apparently for the first time and found it hard to get around: “I must have covered several miles (in wedges), searching in vain for the Council building where President Donald Tusk was lunching the so-called EU27 in Britain’s absence (where’s a truffle hog when you need one?).” Her arguments with Richard Burgon tonight should be the greatest between public intellectuals since V S Naipaul and Paul Theroux buried the hatchet.
Question Time is on BBC One at 10.45pm tonight (11.20pm in Northern Ireland)