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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 March, 2004, 16:41 GMT
25 March 2004
Question Time, the BBC's premier political programme chaired by David Dimbleby, was in Shrewsbury on 25 March. He was joined for the interactive debate by Barbara Follett MP, John Redwood MP, John Thurso MP, Tony Benn and Ned Temko.

Barbara Follett MP


Title: Labour MP

Career: Barbara Follett is strongly pro-European and campaigns on international development and feminist issues and set up the Labour Women's Network.

She is married to the novelist Ken Follett and is a New Labour loyalist, voting in support of the Iraq war and the government's stance on tuition fees.

Mrs Follett grew up in South Africa where she fought against the apartheid regime. Her first husband, anti-apartheid campaigner Richard Turner was assassinated in 1978.

John Redwood MP

Title: Conservative MP

Career: John Redwood is one of the Conservative Party's most prominent anti-euro voices and is a strong advocate of privatisation.

He was branded "The Vulcan" when he unsuccessfully challenged then Prime Minister John Major in 1995, and stood again in the 1997 leadership contest before transferring his allegiance to William Hague.

The former university professor, postman, shop assistant and company chairman was head of Margaret Thatcher's policy unit, and was made Welsh Secretary in 1993, six years after entering parliament.

John Thurso MP

Title: Liberal Democrat Transport and Scottish Affairs spokesman

Career: John Thurso made constitutional history when he became the first hereditary peer to sit in the House of Commons.

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As Viscount Thurso, he was front bench Lib Dem spokesman on tourism and food in the Lords before voting for his own expulsion from the upper chamber and refusing a life peerage.

Mr Thurso, whose grandfather, Sir Archibald Sinclair, was leader of the Liberal Party from 1935-45, has criticised Chancellor Gordon Brown's decision in the Budget to go ahead with the plan to put tax stamps on whisky.


Title: Former Labour MP and Cabinet Minister

Career: Tony Benn ended his half century career as an MP in 2001 to "devote more time to politics" and concentrate on writing his diaries.

The socialist MP and member of several unions frequently clashed with New Labour and opposed the war against Iraq, flying out to Baghdad to interview Saddam Hussein before the conflict.

Mr Benn played a part in the Concorde project as Technology Minister in the Harold Wilson government. He has twice stood for the Labour leadership in 1976 and 1988 and narrowly missed becoming deputy leader in 1981.

Ned Temko


Title: Editor, Jewish Chronicle

Career: Born in Washington DC, Ned Temko joined the Jewish Chronicle in 1990 after a stint as a news agency foreign correspondent.

He covered the Lebanese civil war, the revolution and the US Embassy hostage crises in Iran, was a correspondent in Beirut and Moscow and reported on the release of Nelson Mandela in South Africa.

Mr Temko criticised remarks made by Cherie Blair in 2002 about Palestinian suicide bombers and last year condemned comments made by Labour MP Tam Dalyell about Tony Blair's "cabal of Jewish advisors".

BBC One's Question Time is broadcast on Thursdays at 22:35 GMT.


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