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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 October 2007, 15:20 GMT 16:20 UK
This week's panel
Question Time, the BBC's premier political debate programme chaired by David Dimbleby, was in Bradford on 18 October.

David Dimbleby was joined by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and Wales Peter Hain, the Shadow Home Secretary David Davis, the former leader of the Liberal Democrats Charles Kennedy, writer and columnist for the Daily Mail Melanie Phillips and the former BBC arts correspondent Rosie Millard.


Northern Ireland and Wales secretary Peter Hain

Career: Peter Hain is the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, and Wales.

He has been a key member of the government since 2002, holding the posts of Leader of the House of Commons and Northern Ireland Secretary.

He was raised in South Africa and entered politics during his youth through the anti-apartheid movement.

In September he was defeated by Harriet Harman in his bid to become Deputy Leader of the Labour Party. During his campaign for the post, he told the New Statesman:

"The relationship between Labour and millions of progressive voters has become sour and distrustful. We have been careless, indifferent and, at times, needlessly offensive to the concerns and values of too many of our natural supporters."


David Davis

Career: David Davis is the shadow home secretary.

A member of parliament since 1987, he has contested the Conservative Party leadership on two occasions, losing in 2001 to Iain Duncan Smith, who then appointed him chairman of the party.

In the next leadership race he did not run and was rewarded for his support for the winner, Michael Howard, with the post of shadow home secretary.

He famously lost out to David Cameron in the most recent leadership contest, having entered the race as the frontrunner.

This week he warned his party in the wake of a poll showing a seven point lead for the Conservatives over Labour: "We are going to have to battle with them. We cannot forget that and become complacent over the next 18 months."


Charles Kennedy MP

Career: Charles Kennedy is the former leader of the Liberal Democrats.

In early 2003 he led his party in a forthright opposition to the invasion of Iraq that saw him address crowds at anti-war demonstrations during the build up to the conflict.

He wrote at the time: "There is genuine public perception that we are being bulldozed into a war not of our choosing and not - on the basis of the evidence so far - vital to national interests."

He resigned the leadership of the Liberal Democrats last January after admitting he had a drink problem. During his tenure the party had their most successful election performance for 80 years when they returned 63 MPs in May 2005.

This week, in the wake of the resignation of Lib Dem leader Sir Menzies Campbell, he refused to rule out a return to the party leadership, but said it was "highly unlikely" that he would seek to succeed Sir Menzies.


Melanie Phillips

Career: Melanie Phillips is a writer and outspoken columnist for the Daily Mail.

She worked at the Guardian for more than a decade, where she became a columnist after a brief period as news editor. She joined the Daily Mail in 2001, where she now writes a controversial column on moral and social issues.

She is regarded as one of the media's leading right-wing voices and was recently described as the "scourge of the Guardian-reading liberal establishment." She was awarded the Orwell Prize for Journalism in 1996.

She recently wrote: "The BBC has simply lost sight of the very reason why it exists in the first place... due to a toxic combination of ideology and flawed analysis. At the heart of the BBC's own identity crisis lies Britain's loss of belief in itself as a nation. That has expressed itself in the onslaught by the Left-wing intelligentsia on core British and western values."


Rosie Millard

Career: Rosie Millard was the BBC's arts correspondent for 10 years, leaving in 2003 to pursue a career in print journalism.

She is currently theatre critic for the New Statesman magazine, and writes a weekly column in The Sunday Times.

She attracted criticism in April 2005 when she announced in her Sunday Times column that she was suffering from "middle class debt" writing: "On paper my husband and I are known in polite parlance as 'comfortably off'. In reality we have no money."

Question Time from Bradford

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