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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 October 2007, 09:54 GMT 10:54 UK
This week's panel
Question Time, the BBC's premier political debate programme chaired by David Dimbleby, was in London on 4 October.

David Dimbleby was joined by the Secretary of State for Transport Ruth Kelly, the shadow chancellor George Osborne, the leader of the Liberal Democrats Sir Menzies Campbell and the editor of Private Eye magazine Ian Hislop.


Ruth Kelly MP

Career: Ruth Kelly is the Secretary of State for Transport, having previously been Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Minister for Women and Equality, and Secretary of State for Education.

She was the youngest woman ever to sit in cabinet when she was promoted to Education Secretary in December 2004, aged 36.

Her first ministerial job was Economic Secretary to the Treasury under Gordon Brown, and she is seen as a close ally of the Prime Minister.


George Osborne MP

Career: George Osborne is the Conservative shadow chancellor, who made headlines this week announcing Tory plans to cut inheritance tax and abolish stamp duty for first-time buyers.

He was the youngest Conservative MP in the House of Commons when he was elected in 2001 as the MP for Tatton, having previously worked as a speech-writer and political secretary to former Conservative leader William Hague.

After a brief spell as shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, he was promoted to shadow chancellor of the Exchequer in 2005.

He has been touted in the past as a future Tory leader, but chose not to stand in the most recent leadership race, instead heading the campaign for his close friend David Cameron.


Sir Menzies Campbell

Career: Ming Campbell is leader of the Liberal Democrats. After a career as an Olympic athlete, he entered parliament in 1987.

In March 1996 he became party leader, succeeding Charles Kennedy. He has been an outspoken critic of the war in Iraq and has led calls for an inquiry into the conflict.

There has been speculation in the press lately that "young turks" within his own party may be gearing up to succeed Ming in the near future.

However, he shrugged off these rumours at the Liberal Democrats' conference last month, saying he was "totally relaxed" about his position.

He added: "When the runners and riders are finally declared at some unspecified time in the future, then there will be plenty of talent to choose from."


Ian Hislop

Career: Ian Hislop has been the editor of Private Eye magazine for over 20 years.

He is also a team-captain on Have I Got News For You, a role which has made him a household name.

He has courted controversy both on screen and in print, and The Guardian reported this week that he is the most sued man in the history of the British legal system.

He was a scriptwriter on Spitting Image during the 1980s, and has presented numerous programmes on television and radio, most recently Scouting For Boys on BBC Two.

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