Who is on BBC Question Time tonight? Andrew Bowie, Lucy Powell, Stephen Flynn, John Allan and Anne McElvoy on Warrington panel
Fiona Bruce will once again return to chair and lead the panel through the hottest talking points with a panel of politicians from the three biggest parties in the UK on the show this week.
Last week Fiona Bruce announced she would be stepping back as an ambassador of domestic abuse charity Refuge following claims she had trivialised domestic violence during a discussion about Stanley Johnson on Question Time.
The panel will be taking questions from audience members in Warrington.
With the leader of the SNP present it is likely that Scottish independence and the future of the SNP will be raised on the programme, as well as other hot topics from the world of UK politics.
With all this and more set to be debated on BBC Question Time, we take a look at who is on the panel and what viewers can expect from the show.
Andrew Bowie, the Energy Security and Net Zero Minister will be on the BBC Question Time panel representing the UK Government. The MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine since 2017 will undoubtedly be giving his opinion on the recent UK Budget, especially around the support for cost of living crisis and the reclassification of nuclear energy.
Yesterday it was announced by Jeremy Hunt that nuclear power will be classed as “environmentally sustainable” which will give it access to the same investment incentives as renewable energy. Earlier this year, Bowie said the “net zero target remains the Government priority” telling MPs: “I can assure the House that we will carefully consider the recommendations proposed in the review of net zero and the discussion today, providing a full Government response later in the year.” Bowie has rarely rebelled against the current government, backing a host of matters including against a more proportional representation of parliament, and against fewer MPs in the Commons.
The SNP last month hit out at Bowie and the UK Government stating: “If the Tories think they will bring down energy bills by building nuclear power stations that won’t be ready for years to come then they are more delusional than we thought.
The Shadow Culture Secretary and MP for Manchester Central will also be part of the BBC Question Time panel this evening. The MP has previously held shadow education, business and housing posts.
Powell recently made headlines after her remarks were criticised after the Labour MP claimed Gary Lineker being taken off air for tweeting something “the Government doesn’t like” sounds like “Putin’s Russia”.
Ms Powell, asking an urgent question, said: “What does (Ms Lopez) think it looks like to the outside world that a much-loved sports presenter is taken off air for tweeting something the Government doesn’t like? It sounds more like Putin’s Russia to me.”
Shadow culture secretary Lucy Powell’s remarks were branded “distasteful” by culture minister Julia Lopez, who also labelled it a “disgraceful comparison” given Russian President Vladimir Putin’s actions. Conservative former minister Andrew Percy said: “I hope that the shadow secretary of state will reflect on her comparison of this Government to the Putin regime which, of course, is engaged in war crimes and the murder of men, women, and children in Ukraine. That was beneath her.”
Powell was also about Sue Gray stating that the departing senior civil servant as “impartial” and insisted she would not bring privileged official material with her. She has also been vocal about football reform across the country stating that: “Football reform has support across Parliament, and across the country.
“In the 15 months it’s taken the Government to finally publish a football white paper, Derby County nearly went under, Oldham Athletic was relegated, Chelsea changed hands and Manchester United, Newcastle, Liverpool and Bournemouth were all put up for sale.
“Fans are desperate for a say on the future of their clubs and the game. We can afford no further delay. The Government should urgently bring forward legislation, or take responsibility for any clubs that go under, spiral into decline or which are bought by unsuitable new owners, in the years they’ve wasted bringing the regulator.”
The SNP Westminster leader since December 2022 will celebrate 100 days as leader of the largest party in Scotland today, and he will be keen to make an impression on BBC Question Time. The MP for Aberdeen South since 2019 will undoubtedly give an insight into the SNP leadership contest, with the MP recently giving his backing to Humza Yousaf. Mr Flynn also rejected claims he – along with the SNP ‘establishment’ – had endorsed Mr Yousaf amid concern over his lower public rating.
Stephen Flynn has also rejected claims the SNP is facing an “existential crisis” amid infighting within the leadership contest. SNP MPs described a “fractured” party in his first few weeks, but now say while there remains anger, the new leadership has avoided any public spats with his own MPs.
The SNP leader recently made headlines after speaking out on reports that Rishi Sunak had the grid updated to heat his private swimming pool. “On Monday as households in Scotland were awakening to freezing temperatures, they were met with the news that the electricity grid had been upgraded in order to meet the power demands of the Prime Minister’s new swimming pool.
“So may I ask him, was it whilst he was taking a leisurely dip that he decided to leave households drowning in their energy bills?”
He was also recently vocal regarding the UK immigration policy and accused Rishi Sunak of taking inspiration from “Nigel Farage or Enoch Powell” after arguing his immigration policies are “a complete and utter disgrace”.
Flynn has called for Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to increase public-sector pay and benefits in line with inflation and rejoin the EU single market.
The chairman of Tesco, John Allan will also feature on the BBC Question Time panel from Warrington.
Allan recently sparked headlines after suggestions that some food firms may be using inflation as an excuse to increase prices further than necessary.
Mr Allan, the chairman of the UK’s biggest supermarket chain was asked by Laura Kuebssberg if food producers are taking advantage of the poorest in society, said it is “entirely possible” adding that the company has “fallen out with suppliers” over price rises and is trying “very hard to challenge cost increases”.
He has also been vocal on food inflation prices stating that he believes inflation will decrease by the summer but said those on lower wages will continue to struggle. Allan will likely give an insight into the impact of Brexit, trade deals and other aspects amid a fruit and vegetable shortage .
Allan will also be likely to offer insights into industrial action and the energy crisis having held boardroom roles at Royal Mail, the National Grid and Worldplay.
Journalist Anne McElvoy will take the last place on the BBC QT panel. The executive editor and head of podcasting at Politico joined in mid-February this year.
McElvoy was previously the executive editor of The Economist and along with a team of editors and producers oversaw the growth of podcasting from a launch group of seven to around 30 podcast staff and total downloads approaching 3 million monthly. She has frequently appeared on BBC radio and TV shows.
McElvoy chaired a discussion panel of leading feminists and national figures to mark International Women’s Day, with the Duchess of Sussex also joining the panel. She is also a regular panellist on Radio 4’s Moral Maze.
Viewers can watch BBC Question Time from Warrington at 8pm on BBC Iplayer or on BBC One after the 10 o'clock news