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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 October, 2003, 16:07 GMT 17:07 UK
This week's panel
Question Time, the BBC's premier political programme chaired by David Dimbleby, was in Morecambe on Thursday, 9 October. Joining David on the panel were:

Alistair Darling MP
Alistair Darling MP

Title: Secretary of State for Transport.

Career: Alistair Darling was first elected Labour MP for Edinburgh Central in 1987.

He is seen as one of Tony Blair's most trusted cabinet colleagues, and was given the highly sensitive role of transport secretary, following the resignation of Stephen Byers.

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In June 2003 he was also given the task of speaking on Scottish affairs in the Commons and taking charge of the Scotland Office's civil servants when they became part of the new Department of Constitutional Affairs.

Theresa May MP
Theresa May MP

Title: Chairman of the Conservative Party.

Career: Theresa May has enjoyed one of the most successful careers among the Conservative Party's 1997 parliamentary intake.

Within two years of her election she had joined the shadow cabinet, opposing David Blunkett at the Department for Education and Employment.

Under Iain Duncan Smith she became shadow secretary of state for transport, and she then became the first woman to hold the post of party chairman in July 2002 following the dismissal of David Davis.

Simon Hughes MP
Simon Hughes MP

Title: Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesman and London Mayoral Candidate.

Career: Simon Hughes won the seat of Southwark in a notoriously bitter 1983 by-election.

He has held the seat ever since, despite it being seen as a natural Labour heartland.

In March he won the ballot to stand as the Lib Dem London Mayoral candidate in 2004.

He holds liberal views on issues such as penal and asylum policy.

He is also a dedicated environmentalist and anti-nuclear campaigner, and opposes both abortion and euthanasia.

Baroness Helena Kennedy QC
Baroness Helena Kennedy QC

Title: Chairman of the British Council.

Career: Baroness Kennedy was called to the Bar in 1972. She became a Queen's Counsel in 1991 and received a life peerage in 1997.

She practises predominantly in criminal law and has acted in many leading British cases of the last decade, including the Brighton Bombing Trial and the Guildford Four Appeal.

As well as the British Council, she chairs the Human Genetics Commission and the London International Festival of Theatre, among other organisations.

Sir Max Hastings
Sir Max Hastings

Title: Journalist.

Career: Sir Max Hastings was editor of both the Daily Telegraph and London's Evening Standard.

As a journalist and war correspondent, he was the first to enter Port Stanley during the Falklands War.

He published his memoirs in 2002 and has also distinguished himself as a military historian.

A keen proponent of the countryside, he was made President of the Council for the Protection of Rural England in 2002, the same year he received his knighthood.


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