Who is on BBC Question Time tonight?
BBC Question Time returns tomorrow with Fiona Bruce once again hosting the flagship political show.
Amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the rising cost of fuel, energy suppliers going under, the HGV and food delivery crisis and the Labour conference, members of the public will once again be given the opportunity to ask their questions to the panel.
With the BBC show taking place in Birmingham, we take a look at who is on the panel and what viewers can expect.
The UK Government will be represented by George Eustice. The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs secretary will sit on the panel and field questions from the audience. The former fruit farmer will undoubtedly aim to shed his experience on the ongoing worker shortage with a lack of HGV drivers resulting in some food shortages. On the fuel shortage, Eustice said over the weekend that the government was "leaving no stone unturned" when it came to ensuring filling stations have enough supplies and insisted that normality at the pumps was returning.
Eustice blamed motorists for filling up when they did not need to after days of lengthy queues at petrol stations.
“There isn’t a shortage (of fuel).
“The cause of these current problems is that panic-buying episode and the most important thing is for people to start buying petrol as they normally would,” he said.
“There does come a point, as we saw during a previous episode of panic buying during the pandemic on food, where things settle down and people get used to it, and return to life as normal again.
“The sooner people do that the better.
“The only reason we don’t have petrol on the forecourts is that people are buying petrol when they don’t need to.”
The Conservative MP for Camborne and Redruth, who served as campaign director for the anti-euro No Campaign from 1999 to 2003, also made headlines last week when he questioned the US president’s grasp of the 'very complicated' post-Brexit trading arrangements regarding Northern Ireland trade saying that he was 'not sure' that Mr Biden 'fully appreciates' the UK's position as it seeks to renegotiate the rules with the EU.
The former press secretary of David Cameron, Eustice has voted with his party on a host of issues, including backing a host of measures calling for greater restrictions on campaigning by third parties, such as charities, during elections, fewer MPs in the House of Commons, and opposed a wholly elected House of Lords. Eustice has never voted on a veto for MPs from England, Wales and Northern Ireland over laws specifically impacting their part of the UK.
He has also voted against more EU integration and consistently voted for the renewal of Trident.
Labour will be represented on BBC QT by Wes Streeting. The MP for Ilford North since 2015 was the former president on the National Union of Students. The Shadow Child Poverty Secretary recently revealed that he was adjusting to life post Cancer following a diagnosis earlier this year.
The Ilford North MP shared the personal news of the 'terrifying, difficult time'. at the Labour conference in Brighton. He made headlines in April this year after he criticised Boris Johnson for comments he allegedly made over lockdown with Streeting telling the Commons: “We all know that the delay in locking down the country in lockdown one, lockdown two and lockdown three led to a higher toll in both lives and livelihoods. What I do not think anyone expected was to read on the front page of the Daily Mail today that the Prime Minister had said:Let the bodies pile high in their thousands.”
At the Labour conference, Streeting said of hecklers during Sir Keir Starmer’s speech: “If you are going to do the work of the Conservative party for them, out you go, you won’t be missed.”
Last month, the MP also told of the difficulties he had embracing his sexuality saying that he tried for “years and years trying not to be gay” as he didn’t think he would be accepted as a Christian.
Streeting has generally followed members of his party in regards to voting, and has never rebelled against his party in this parliament. He voted for a referendum on the UK's membership of the EU, for replacing Trident with a new nuclear weapons system and consistently voted against an equal number of electors per parliamentary constituency.
Journalist, filmmaker and podcaster Ella Whelan will also be on the BBC Question Time panel this evening. The Spiked Magazine columnist recently published her column on the Angela Rayner “scum” incident writing: “Britain faces an energy crisis, benefits cuts, the threat of more lockdowns, job losses and a social-care crisis (to name a few). And the big news from the opposition's party conference is a four-letter word? That’s pretty scummy.”
The author of “What Women Want: Fun, Freedom and an end to Feminsim” recently sparked headlines after appearing on GMB debating the use of pet names in the workplace with chef Rustie Lee saying 'Rusti makes the important point that this is all contextual: it matters if you know or don't know the person, it matters, like someone said earlier, whether they are good looking or not.
“The subjective way we deal and talk to each other shouldn't be regulated by a tribunal ruling.”
Former Love Island star Amy Hart will also be on the Birmingham panel for the BBC One show. The former British Airways crew member, who appeared on the ITV 2 show in 2019, campaigns for trade unions. The season 5 star has worked on a guest panellist on TV shows such as Loose Women, as well as appearing on Celebs Go Dating.
While the 28-year-old TV star is no stranger to the headlines, she recently made political waves appearing at the Labour Conference. She was pictured with the Labour leader at a Fringe Event when running a panel alongside Sir Keir Starmer.
On her interview with Starmer at the event, Hart said: “I’ve been a supporter of the Labour Party since I was 17, looked at going to university to study politics, I volunteer at my local foodbank and I am a vocal supporter of trade unions.
Meeting Keir was so lovely. I knew he’d be polite and nice but I met such a genuine, kind man who really wants to make a change. “
In a column in Vice, Hart wrote about her views on social media influencers creating their own trade union.
She said: 'I do think there needs to be a creators' union, because a lot of us make a living off of social media. People are very snobby about influencing, but then in the next breath they're tagging where their outfits are from in the hopes of getting reposted on their accounts.'
Writing about her upcoming appearance on BBC Question Time, H art wrote : “I’m really looking forward to it, but am also apprehensive. I am not a politician and hope they will be kind to me and understand that I’m just someone who takes an interest in politics and tries to encourage other people my age to do the same. I probably won’t know the answers to all their questions but I will do my best.”
Rounding off the panel for Question Time is Lord Karan Bilimoria, peer and the president of the Confederation of British Industry. The entrepreneur and chancellor of the University of Birmingham founded the global beer brand, Cobra Beer. He will likely give insight into a host of issues currently impacting the UK, such as the Co2 shortage.
In a recent post on the University of Birmingham site, Lord Bilimoria emphasised the importance of a global commitment to climate change, saying. “If the United Kingdom’s presidency of COP26 is to be considered a success, then we should demonstrate global leadership by getting our own house in order, while helping others to do the same.”
BBC Question Time is on BBC One at 10:35pm