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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 January, 2004, 18:13 GMT
This week's panel
Question Time, the BBC's premier political programme chaired by David Dimbleby was in Nottingham on 22 January. The panel joining him for the interactive debate were Douglas Alexander MP, Michael Ancram MP, Matthew Taylor MP, Norman Jay and Anne Atkins.

Douglas Alexander MP

Title: Minister for the Cabinet Office

Career: Douglas Alexander is one of the rising stars of the Labour party, having been made a minister at the age of 34.

He has been charged with the responsibility of co-ordinating Labour's campaign in the next general election after playing a key role in the party's 2001 victory and in the first Holyrood elections.

Before entering parliament Mr Alexander cut his political teeth as a researcher for Gordon Brown from 1990-1.

Michael Ancram MP

Title: Shadow Foreign Secretary & Conservative Deputy Leader

Career: A Tory grandee, Michael Ancram did not stand in last year's party leadership contest, and supported Michael Howard.

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He was the first candidate to be eliminated in the Tory leadership contest in 2001, following the resignation of William Hague, and later threw his weight behind Iain Duncan Smith.

The former Conservative party chairman recently challenged Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw to consider charging British prisoners at Guantanamo Bay with treason.

Matthew Taylor MP

Title: Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party Chairman

Career: Matthew Taylor was responsible for developing the policy of a local income levy to replace council tax.

He was campaign chairman for Charles Kennedy's successful party leadership campaign and was rewarded with the position of treasury spokesman before being given his current position in last October's reshuffle.

Mr Taylor was the UK's youngest MP when he entered parliament aged 24 in 1987 and was given the Green Ribbon Award for his environmental work by the BBC Wildlife magazine ten years later.

Norman Jay

Title: DJ

Career: Norman Jay co-founded the then pirate radio station Kiss FM in 1985 on which he presented his legendary "The Original Rare Groove Show".

His DJ-ing career took off at the Notting Hill Carnival and he has since built up a following all around the world, playing at French football star Thierry Henry's wedding in 2003, a year after being awarded the MBE.

On his personal website, Norman Jay said he is "really excited by the prospect of having an on air row with a smug politician or two" during this week's Question Time.

Anne Atkins

Title: Journalist, broadcaster and writer

Career: Anne Atkins is a well known commentator on the family, theology, modern manners, morality and a variety of ethical issues.

The devout Christian has appeared on a variety of television and radio programmes, including Kilroy, Newsnight and The Heaven and Earth Show and has presented Channel 5's The Agony Hour and ITV's Sunday Morning.

Mrs Atkins has also written columns for a number of national newspapers, including as "Agony Atkins" for The Daily Telegraph.

BBC One's Question Time is broadcast on Thursdays at 2235 GMT.


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