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Page last updated at 17:10 GMT, Monday, 16 February 2009

Last week's panel

Tony McNulty MPLord Heseltine#Sarah Teather MPPiers MorganTim Campbell

Question Time, the BBC's premier political programme chaired by David Dimbleby, was in Peckham in London on 19 February.

The panel included the Employment Minister Tony McNulty, former deputy prime minister Lord Heseltine, Liberal Democrat spokesperson on housing Sarah Teather, journalist and television personality Piers Morgan, and entrepreneur Tim Campbell.


Tony McNulty MP

Career: Tony McNulty is the Minister for Employment, and has been MP for Harrow East since May 1997. Before joining the department for work and pensions last October, he was minister of state for security, counter-terrorism, crime and policing, and was the Home Office minister with responsibility for immigration from 2005 to 2006.

With news last week that UK employment has reached a 10-year high, he says of his role: "I am in the hot seat. It is certainly a challenge and I have no doubt things are going to get worse before they get better. I hope when people call me a troubleshooter, they don't think it's me that brings the trouble."

Reacting to the recent controversy over bank bonuses, he defended the right of banking staff on lower salaries to retain their bonuses, but said: "I would draw the line between [them and] the senior managers, board members, executives, those responsible for the business model and strategy that got them into the mess. They shouldn't get a penny."


Lord Heseltine

Career: Michael Heseltine is one of the most senior Conservative politicians, whose political career has spanned four decades.

He became the Conservative MP for Tavistock in 1966 and served as a junior minister in Edward Heath's government, before being promoted to secretary of state for the environment and later defence secretary, by Margaret Thatcher.

His challenge for the leadership of the party in 1990 triggered the resignation of Lady Thatcher, but he was beaten by John Major. Heseltine was appointed president of the Board of Trade in 1992, promising to intervene "before breakfast, dinner and tea" to help British businesses hit by the economic downturn. He was made deputy prime minister in 1995.

Upon retiring from the Commons in 2001, he was made a life peer in the House of Lords.

After backing David Cameron's election for party leader in 2006, he was appointed to lead the Conservatives' cities task force, aimed at increasing Tory support in urban areas.


Sarah Teather MP

Career: Sarah Teather is the Liberal Democrat spokesperson on housing, having previously represented the party on innovation, universities and skills.

She was first elected to Parliament aged 29, at the 2003 Brent East by-election, becoming the youngest member of the House of Commons.

Before entering politics, she trained as a scientist and worked for Macmillan Cancer Care Relief, where she advised on health and social policy.

She backed eventual leader Nick Clegg in the 2008 Lib Dem leadership battle, having previously been a close supporter of Sir Menzies Campbell in his bid to succeed Charles Kennedy, and was a signatory to the letter urging Kennedy to stand down in January 2006.

Last week she dismissed Conservative proposals to ease the shortage of housing by relaxing government building regulations, saying: "This shows just how out of touch the Tories are. Lowering the standards in this way will condemn families to living in cramped or draughty homes for 15 or 20 years as they wait to be rehoused."


Piers Morgan

Career: Piers Morgan is a journalist and television personality.

At 29 he was made editor of the News of the World newspaper, and went on to 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. He later said: "I didn't mind losing my job. Maybe Tony Blair or one of the cabinet will have the good grace, after 100,000 Iraqis died, to lose their job."

Since leaving the Mirror, he has become a well-known face on television, appearing as a judge on both America's Got Talent and Britain's Got Talent. He also presents You Can't Fire Me, I'm Famous, and does a monthly interview for GQ magazine. His new ITV show, Piers Morgan's Life Stories, starts next Sunday.


Tim Campbell

Career: Tim Campbell is a business consultant and entrepreneur who was the first winner of BBC Two's The Apprentice. After working for Sir Alan Sugar for two years, he left Amstrad to set up the Bright Ideas Trust, which aims to give young people a chance to start up in business with funding and advice. His consultancy, Campbell Esq, advises businesses on their development.

Before appearing on the Apprentice, he was a senior planner at London Underground, and went on to head Amstrad's health and beauty division, before setting up a male grooming business of his own.

He hopes that the Bright Ideas Trust will "unleash a wave of creativity among people in the UK and give them an opportunity to run their own enterprise in a practical, hands-on way."

In July 2007 he became a social enterprise ambassador as part of a government-funded initiative that aims to bring together "some of the most inspirational and switched-on people in Britain" to apply modern business solutions to social and environmental problems. He also sits on the Black Boys' National Role Model programme, which the government set up last year to improve the visibility of black male achievement.

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