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Question Time



Last Updated: Thursday, 28 September 2006, 09:17 GMT 10:17 UK
This week's panel
Question Time, the BBC's premier political debate programme chaired by David Dimbleby, was broadcast from Manchester on 28 September.

David Dimbleby was joined by Leader of the House of Commons Jack Straw MP, Former Conservative Chancellor Kenneth Clarke, Baroness Tonge of the Liberal Democrats, writer and broadcaster Piers Morgan and Tony Blair's former Special Adviser Lance Price.


Jack Straw MP

Title: Leader of the House of Commons

Career: Jack Straw was appointed Leader of the House at last May's reshuffle.

He was previously Foreign Secretary and Home Secretary. His period in office as Foreign Secretary was dominated by the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and their fallout.

As Foreign Secretary, he also claimed that military action against Iran was "inconceivable" which some commentators claim led to him being replaced by Margaret Beckett.


Ken Clarke MP

Title: Former Conservative Chancellor and Home Secretary

Career: Kenneth Clarke remains one of the Conservative Party's most senior and important figures, despite coming third in last years leadership race.

He was recently appointed by David Cameron to head the party's democracy task force which is considering ways of improving the workings of government.

He has written that, "Gordon Brown's time as Chancellor will be judged by his mismanagement of the public finances and his failure to achieve value for money for his vast increases in public spending. He has squandered the incredibly strong fiscal position of the late 1990s".


Baroness Tonge

Title: Liberal Democrat peer

Career: Last week Baroness Tonge said at the Liberal Democrat Party conference that the "pro-Israeli lobby has got its financial grips on the Western world" and on "our party".

She was made a life peer having stepped down as a London MP at last year's general election.

She was sacked from the Liberal Democrat front bench by Charles Kennedy after saying about Palestinian suicide bombers that, "if I had to live in that situation - and I say that advisedly - I might just consider becoming one myself."


Piers Morgan

Title: Writer and broadcaster

Career: At 29, Piers Morgan was made Editor of the News of the World newspaper.

He then embarked on a high-profile editorship of the Mirror during which the paper became a vociferous opponent of the Iraq war.

He was sacked from the job after publishing photos of the abuse of Iraqis by British soldiers which were shown to be fake.

Piers is the author of the "The Insider," his controversial diaries, in which he accuses Cherie Blair of trying to get him sacked as Editor of the Mirror.

He later claims to have told her that, "we both know that our feud was down to sexual tension".


Lance Price

Title: Tony Blair's Special Adviser and Deputy Press Secretary, 1998-2000.

Career: As Alastair Campbell's deputy in Number 10 and then as the Labour Party's Director of Communications, Lance Price was at the heart of Tony Blair's media team.

Before working for New Labour he was a BBC journalist.

In last Sunday's Panorama programme about Gordon Brown he said:

"All politicians at a senior level are pretty odd characters. Some manage to keep their feet on the ground and give the impression of still being fully paid up members of the human race. Gordon Brown is sadly not one of them."

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