Tag Archives: bbc question time

Lib Dems select Maajid Nawaz as candidate in ultra-close three-way marginal of Hampstead and Kilburn

maajid-navazIn the 2010 general election, Hampstead and Kilburn was a three-way marginal: Glenda Jackson squeaked back in for Labour by just 42 votes, polling fewer than 900 votes ahead of the third-placed Lib Dems.

This week, the local Lib Dems selected the candidate they hope will succeed Ms Jackson when she retires at the next election: he’s Maajid Nawaz, a former radical Islamist, author of Radical: My Journey from Islamist Extremism to a Democratic Awakening, and co-founder of the Quilliam Foundation. As the Ethnic Minority Lib Dems note:

He is the first visible minority so far to become a PPC for the 2015 general election in a constituency where the party has a realistic chance of winning. EMLD welcomes his selection as a step forward in BAME representation. He will take on Labour’s Tulip Siddiq who is seeking to succeed Glenda Jackson as MP. Jackson’s north London seat has a paper-thin majority and is regarded as a three-way ultra marginal. The Lib Dems were in third place in 2010 but have a realistic chance of success, particularly if we garner a sizable share of the BAME vote, which makes up over 30% of the local electorate.

And here’s how the Qulliam Foundation acknowledges Maajid’s selection:

Maajid Nawaz will run in his personal capacity, as a member of the Liberal Democrat Party. In running for the Liberal Democrats, Mr Nawaz continues his political journey from a former leading member of a radical organisation towards liberal democratic values. He will remain Chairman of Quilliam and is committed to its cross-party values and mission of countering extremism, promoting pluralism, inspiring change and seeding democratic culture.

You can read more about Maajid on his Wikipedia page here, and see him in action on BBC1′s Question Time here:

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An open letter to the BBC about tonight’s Lib-Dem-free Question Time

Here’s an email I sent to the BBC’s acting Director of News, Fran Unsworth, last night. Hat-tip to Richard Morris for highlighting the issue.

Dear Fran,

On the front of the 2010 Liberal Democrat manifesto were four priorities. The first of these was a pledge to deliver “fairer taxes” by raising the threshold at which people begin to pay income tax to £10,000.

In his Budget speech this week, the chancellor stood up in the House of Commons and announced that next year the coalition will deliver this policy in full. It would not be an understatement to say, therefore, that this …

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Mark Pack to appear on Question Time as @BBCExtraGuest

Congratulations and good luck to Mark Pack, my co-editor here for another fortnight, who’s in the virtual hot-seat as this week’s @BBCExtraGuest, tweeting opinions and answering questions before and during this week’s edition of BBC1′s Question Time (Thursday, 10.35 pm):

You’ll be able to follow Mark’s tweets as @BBCExtraGuest here.

Congratulations, too, to Lib Dem blogger Richard Morris, whose open letter maybe reminded the BBC …

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Opinion: Memo to Jeremy Browne MP

Dear Jeremy,

Thank you very much for your typically robust performance on BBC TV’s Question Time last night. However I wish to counsel you against using the prospect of war with Iran as a vehicle to demonstrate your resolve, and the Party’s new-found ‘establishment’ credentials. Your political future, and maybe even your personal freedom, are at stake here….

In the debate you not only expressed your support for blockade-type unilateral sanctions, that do not have UN support, but also you gave the distinct impression that you were in favour of the UK joining a major war against Iran.

The recent rise …

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Jeremy Browne MP writes… I’m no Tory: I’m a radical, authentic liberal

Lib Dem MP Jeremy Browne’s appearance on BBC1′s Question Time last week prompted critical comments for refusing to condfemn control orders, instead saying that the Coalition’s decision on control orders will await the outcome of the government-commission anti-terrorism review of Lib Dem peer Lord (Ken) Macdonald. Here Jeremy responds to his critics…

When I appeared on Question Time last week, I acknowledged that, confronted with a real terrorist threat from ideological zealots hostile to all of our liberal ideals, the government may sometimes, in its response, have to wrestle with the difficult tension between liberty and security. My goal is …

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Any Questions: it’s not just BBC Question Time that’s the problem

We’ve covered before the habit of BBC Question Time of dropping a Liberal Democrat from the panel (three times in four weeks most recently) and also of loading up the panel with a far from politically balanced set of non-Parliamentarians.

But it’s not only Question Time where that’s a problem. BBC Radio 4′s Any Questions? has a similar habit: the superficial balance is actually undone by a far from balanced set of non-Parliamentarians.

Let’s have a look at the make-up of the Any Questions? panels so far this year:

Number of Conservative Parliamentarians / candidates: 5
Number of Labour Parliamentarians / …

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BBC drops Lib Dems from Question Time, again #bbcqt

For the third time in four weeks, the BBC won’t be having a Liberal Democrat on Question Time. As Freedom Central reports:

number of Lib Dems have complained, with gathering pace, about this lack of representation. The response from Gavin Allen was:

“The Liberal Democrats like all parties get representation based on their level of electoral support, which means they are on most – but not all – ‘Question Time’ panels across each series. We believe it adds to the breadth of debate to have perspectives from politicians and non-politicians alike, so places

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BBC issues usual Question Time non-response

Cast your mind back two weeks, and you may recall the BBC making a hash of selecting its panel for the weekly political discussion show Question Time.

In the week when the big political issues were the Iraq war, electoral reform and MPs’ expenses – on all of which the Lib Dems have a distinctive contribution to make – the BBC chose to stuff the panel with an official Labour representative (Lord Falconer), and two former Labour MPs (Clare Short and George Galloway); and, for balance, an official Tory representative (Theresa May), and professional right-wing agitpropette (Melanie Phillips).

Many Lib …

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Annoyed by BBC Question Time panel selection? Then you know what to do.

A couple of years back, I was moved to write to the BBC complaining about Question Time’s pro-Tory bias, regularly featuring Tory-supporting journalists alongside Tory MPs.

Well, that’ll learn me to be careful what you wish for. Because what do we have to look forward to on tonight’s QT panel? The following: an official Labour representative (Lord Falconer), and two former Labour MPs (Clare Short and George Galloway); and, for balance, an official Tory representative (Theresa May), and professional right-wing agitpropette (Melanie Phillips). Deep joy.

As Love and Liberty’s Alex Wilcock acerbically notes:

It’s not as if the Liberal Democrats have

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Eric v Paddy: who’s the “frail and confused” one?

Eric Pickles has, we hear, labelled Paddy Ashdown “frail and confused”. It seems an odd charge for the lifelong political hack and current Tory chairman, Mr Pickles, to level against Paddy – a former Marine, diplomat and spy, who’s placed himself in danger in service of his country more times than Eric’s had hot dinners (no mean feat).

Here’s a picture of Eric.

And here’s a picture of Paddy (taken just last week, I believe).

And now let’s see Eric in action – in his infamous car-crash appearance on BBC1′s Question Time. A cruel person might observe that Eric seems a little, well, “frail and confused” as he tries to justify his second home allowance:

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 8 Comments

Labour’s Dawn Butler’s “strange” complaint: BBC should have invited me on before BNP’s Griffin

Poor Dawn Butler, the Labour MP for Brent South, whose plight – on expenses, her voting record and media outbursts – Lib Dem Voice has covered before. Now she is making the news for lambasting the BBC for inviting BNP leader Nick Griffin onto Question Time.

What’s wrong with that, you say, no more than Peter Hain did? Ah, but Dawn’s complaint is not so much that Mr Griffin appeared, as that she didn’t. Here’s an excerpt from the rather extraordinary letter, written by Dawn, I mean, by Brent’s Labour council group leader Ann John, and 19 of …

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LibLink … Chris Huhne: Griffin is trying to peddle hatred against Muslims

Over in the Independent, Lib Dem shadow home secretary Chris Huhne writes about his experiences on last night’s BBC Question Time as a fellow panellist alongside BNP leader Nick Griffin. Here’s an excerpt:

The key method of Griffin was on display: pretend to be moderate and reasonable in order to garner support which would be revolted if it knew his real agenda. He was confronted with quotes from YouTube, in which he told David Duke of the Ku Klux Klan that the BNP had to move softly because the British people were not yet ready for talk of racial purity, so

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Opinion: A Liberal Line on Immigration

For me one of the key tenets of liberalism is our commitment to human rights and fairness. This is why I think fighting the fight on immigration is so important.

On last night’s Question Time, a member of the audience asked whether the rise of the BNP had been down to Labour’s failure on immigration. I think there is an element of truth in that, but perhaps not the element of truth that our home affairs spokesman, Chris Huhne, thought.

Over the last ten years we have been subjected to Home Office and Immigration policy made to please the xenophobic, right wing agenda of papers such as the Daily Mail.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 61 Comments

What did you make of Chris Huhne’s Question Time performance? #bbcqt

So that was the Question Time that was. There is copious assessment of Nick Griffin’s performance, linked to here on LDV.

My views are straightforward. First, Nick Griffin came over badly, but that is immaterial: those who are BNP-inclined will likely have seen him as the victim of a liberal, metropolitan, media stitch-up; and those who despise the BNP will have had their view confirmed.

Secondly, my over-riding sense was of relief that the BNP don’t have a more slick, plausible leader. The moment is ripe for a truly charismatic, attractive, anti-politician to play the demagogue: Nick Griffin is decidedly not that person, thankfully.

Such are my thoughts on Mr Griffin – but what about Chris Huhne’s performance?

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BBC1 Question Time: your Lib Dem blogs reader

Here’s the click-through of posts published on the Lib Dem blogs in response to last night’s BBC1 Question Time, with Nick Griffin. If we’ve missed your post, or you write something later on, please post your link in the comments thread:

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Nick Griffin’s verdict on Chris Huhne

Ahead of tonight’s BBC1 Question Time – featuring the BNP leader Nick Griffin – The Guardian reports his verdicts on his fellow panellists. Here’s what he said about Chris Huhne, the Lib Dems’ shadow home secretary:

Big hitter. Menzies Campbell would have been more daunting.

And here’s what he said about the other panellists:

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LibLink … Chris Huhne: Why I will debate with Nick Griffin

Over at the Guardian’s Comment is Free blog, Lib Dem shadow home secretary Chris Huhne – who will be appearing alonsgide BNP leader Nick Griffin on Thursday night’s BBC1 Question Time – argues that it is time for liberals to challenge the fascists head-on. Here’s an excerpt:

The BBC has judged that two MEPs in a nation-wide election entitles the BNP to a voice on Question Time, just as previously a similar threshold elevated Ukip and the Greens. The BBC’s duty of impartiality is too important to have broadcasting executives decide that some opinions are acceptable and others are not, providing

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged and | 3 Comments

Daily View 2×2: 19 October 2009

2 Big Stories


Labour’s Hain threatens BBC with legal action over BNP invitation

Labour’s Welsh secretary Peter Hain makes a bid for the media spotlight today by arguing that the BBC could face legal action over this Thursday’s edition of Question Time, due to feature an appearance by BNP leader Nick Griffin MEP:

… in his letter , Mr Hain … said the decision should be reconsidered in light of a legal case about ethnic restrictions on the BNP’s membership rules. The party has agreed to amend its constitution after the Equalities and Human Rights Commission sought an injunction, claiming the BNP was breaking the Race Relations Act by restricting membership to “indigenous Caucasian” people.

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BBC Question Time – LDV open thread, 1 October2009 #bbcqt

It’s Thursday, it’s 10.35 pm … it’s BBC1’s Question Time.

For the Liberal Democrats, perennial favourite former party leader Charles Kennedy will be responding to public questions Joining Charlie will be Ben Bradshaw, Theresa May, Dr David Starkey and Dambisa Moyo

If you’re tuning in, you can join the simultanous online Twitter debate here at #bbcqt, or the LDV debate in the thread below. Meanwhile Lib Dem blogger Mark Thompson will be liveblogging events via CoverItLive at his own blog.

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BBC Question Time – LDV open thread, 24 September 2009 #bbcqt

It’s Thursday, it’s 10.35 pm … it’s BBC1’s Question Time.

The series opens tonight in Bournemouth, setting of this week’s Lib Dem conference. The party’s representative is David Laws, the MP for Yeovil who succeeded Paddy Ashdown. A leading light of the ‘Orange Bookers’, who aroused the hostility of may Lib Dem activists for proposing a social insurance model for healthcare in the lead-up to the 2005 general election, he has gained growing respect even among his critics for his forensic approach to education policy as the Lib Dems’ shadow secretary of state for children, schools and families.

Joining David on …

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Daily View 2×2: 7 September 2009

2 Big Stories

Government’s Libya policy: confusion reigns

The mounting government confusion over its policy towards Libya continues today.

First we had the Prime Minister’s refusal to make a comment on the release of convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi; then it emerged that Gordon Brown had let it be known he agreed with the Scottish executive’s decision; over the weekend Justice Secretary Jack Straw acknowledged the obvious – that government policy was strongly influenced by trade and oil.

And now it emerges that Mr Brown is stepping up British attempts to win compensation for the victims of the bombing:

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BBC Question Time – LDV open thread, 23 July 2009 #bbcqt #nnbe

Tonight’s Question Time comes from Norwich, and is broadcast shortly after polls close in the Norwich North by-election.

For the Lib Dems, Baroness Shirley Williams enters the fray. She is joined by fellow peeress Baroness Warsi, writer and broadcaster Clive James and from the House of Commons, Geoff Hoon MP and George Galloway MP.

If you’re tuning in, you can join the simultanous online Twitter debate here at #bbcqt, or the LDV debate in the thread below. Meanwhile Lib Dem blogger Mark Thompson will be liveblogging events via CoverItLive at his own blog.

Finally, if you want to be amongst the first to …

Posted in Lib Dem TV | 12 Comments

BBC Question Time – LDV open thread, 16 July 2009 #bbcqt

It’s Thursday, it’s 10.35 pm … it’s BBC1′s Question Time.

The incorrigible Lembit Opik is the Lib Dem representative on tonight’s edition – fresh from helping launch today’s ‘Say No to Size Zero’ campaign with model Katie Green. The Lib Dem MP for Montgomeryshire has been the leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats and the party’s spokesman on housing. However, his two attempts to win the party presidency have both ended in resounding defeat, to Simon Hughes, then to Ros Scott.

Joining Lembit on the panel will be Labour’s foreign office minister Chris Bryant, vice chairman of the Tory …

Posted in Lib Dem TV | Also tagged | 4 Comments

BBC Question Time – LDV open thread, 2 July 2009 #bbcqt

If this week’s weather hasn’t got you all hot ‘n’ bothered, then what better way of remedying that than by watching tonight’s Question Time (BBC1 and online, 10.35 pm)?

David Laws, the Lib Dems’ children, schools and families, will be the party’s representative. The QT website gives his impressive pre-Commons bio: “Before his election to Parliament in 1997, he had a career in economics and business, during which he was vice president of JP Morgan, and head of US Dollar and Sterling Treasuries at Barclays de Zoete Wedd. He left in 1994 to take up the role of economic adviser to the Liberal Democrats, and from 1997 to 1999 was the party’s director of policy and research.”

Joining David on the panel will be Deputy Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the House of Commons Harriet Harman MP, the former leader of the Tory party Iain Duncan Smith MP, the musician and songwriter Jarvis Cocker, and the journalist and columnist Peter Hitchens.

As per last week, we’re continuing to trial a new way of contributing to the open thread, via Facebook’s Live Stream Box, below:

Posted in Lib Dem TV | Also tagged | 3 Comments

Coming later tonight – new format to LDV #bbcqt open thread

Lib Dem Voice readers are familiar with our weekly BBC1 Question Time open threads – your chance to sound off about the programme while it’s on-air, or to indulge in some post-match analysis of the panellists’ performances, all from the comfort of your sofa.

Well, tonight, we’re ringing the changes – not too much you’ll be pleased/disappointed to hear. But we’re going to be trialling a Facebook Live Stream. If, like me until a few hours ago, you’ve absolutely no idea what that is, this article may explain:

With the Live Stream Box on your website, users log in

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BBC Question Time – LDV open thread, 4 June ’09 #bbcqt

Ex-Lib Dem leader Lord (Paddy) Ashdown is on duty for tonight’s BBC Question Time (10.35 pm, BBC1 and online), so we’re in safe – if lethal – hands.

Paddy will be joined by Labour leader of the House of Lords Baroness Royall (had you heard of her?), Tory shadow secretary of state for defence Liam Fox (y’know the one who tells those tasteful jokes about the Spce Girls), journalist and historian Sir Max ‘fusty-but-rather-wonderful’ Hastings, and ex-GMTV presenter Fiona Phillips.

If you’re tuning in, you can join the simultanous online Twitter debate here at #bbcqt, or the LDV debate …

Posted in Lib Dem TV | Also tagged | 12 Comments

BBC Question Time: open thread 14/5/09

Well, here’s irony for you – Lib Dem representative on tonight’s Question Time (BBC1 and online, 10.35 pm) is none other than Sir Menzies Campbell, former party leader and ardent cushion fan.

And joining Ming on the panel will be Ben Brogan, assistant editor of the Daily Telegraph, the paper which has led the news agenda over the past week by peddling stolen documents. Both were booked weeks ago – it’s simple coincidence tonight’s the night they spar.

Also on the panel are that great Labour survivor (well, survivor anyway) Housing Minister Margaret Beckett, Tory shadow work and pensions …

Posted in Lib Dem TV | Also tagged | 20 Comments

BBC Question Time open thread: 7 May 09

Baron Steel of Aikwood will be flying the yellow flag on BBC’s Question Time tonight on behalf of the Lib Dems – BBC1 2235 and online.

He’ll be joined by the Tory MP the unkind call “Mad Nad”, Nadine Dorries; Labour leader in Scotland Iain Gray ; Deputy First Minister of Scotland (and what an ungainly title that is) Nicola Sturgeon MSP for the Scot Nats; and Independent columnist and Cameron cheerleader Bruce Anderson.

A lively debate usually takes place on Twitter as well as in the studio – and you can watch that unfold on Twitter’s search website. …

Posted in Lib Dem TV | 14 Comments

BBC Question Time: open thread 30/4/09

Stormin’ Norman Baker, the party’s shadow transport secretary and tenacious campaigner par excellence, is the Lib Dem representative on tonight’s Question Time (BBC1 and online, 10.35 pm).

He’ll be joined on the panel by Labour’s environment secretary Hilary (“I’m a Benn not a Bennite”) Benn, Tory shadow health secretary since 2003 Andrew Lansley, comedian, columnist and disaffected Labour supporter Frank Skinner, and Plaid Cymru Welsh Assembly member Leanne Wood (who was once thrown out of the chamber for referring to HM The Queen as Mrs Windsor).

Remember, if you’re tuning in, you can join the general debate on Twitter …

Posted in Lib Dem TV | Also tagged | 9 Comments

BBC Question Time: open thread 23/4/09

Not only is the BBC’s Question Time back tonight after its Easter break (BBC1 and online, 10.35 pm GMT), but it’s back with none other than Lib Dem economic megastar Vince Cable. What more could we hope or wish for? Vince will doubtless be able to dispense his sage counsel on this week’s lamentable Labour budget.

He’ll be joined on the panel by Labour’s Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills John Denham (the only cabinet member to vote against the Iraq war), Tory shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Philip Hammond, historian and broadcaster (not necessarily in that …

Posted in Lib Dem TV | 1 Comment



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