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:

Posted in Selection news and YouTube | Also tagged , , and | 15 Comments

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 …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 11 Comments

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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