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Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 March, 2004, 17:05 GMT
4 March 2004
Question Time, the BBC's premier political programme chaired by David Dimbleby, was in Stockton-on-Tees on 4 March. The panel joining him for the interactive debate were Lord Alli, Adam Afriyie, Sarah Teather MP, Melanie Phillips, and Wayne Hemingway.

Lord Alli


Title: Labour Peer

Career: Millionaire businessman Waheed Alli became the youngest member of the House of Lords when he was given a life peerage at the age of 34.

He then became the first openly gay peer, and championed lowering the homosexual age of consent to 16 and the repeal of the Section 28 legislation that outlawed the promotion of homosexuality in schools.

Lord Alli made his fortune in the City before teaming up with Bob Geldof to form Planet 24 Productions, the television company that brought The Big Breakfast to television screens.

Adam Afriyie

Title: Conservative Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Windsor

Career: Adam Afriyie is bidding to become the first black Conservative MP after being chosen to stand for the Conservative held constituency of Windsor.

The millionaire, who founded the successful IT company, Connect Support Services is the London chairman of Business For Sterling and is a spokesman for the anti-euro "No" campaign.

Mr Afriyie was a Conservative activist and campaigner for 15 years before being selected to stand in the next general election.

Sarah Teather MP

Title: Liberal Democrat Spokeswoman on Health Issues

Career: Sarah Teather became the youngest serving MP when she won Brent East from Labour in September 2003.

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Just 46 days later, the former health and social policy advisor for the MacMillan Fund for Cancer Relief and government advisor at the Royal Society, was promoted to the Lib Dem junior front bench.

Ms Teather is a member of the Lib Dem national policy committee and chairs the Party's health policy working group.

Melanie Phillips

Title: Journalist and writer

Career: Melanie Phillips writes a column for the Daily Mail commentating on political and social issues and contributes articles to other journals.

She describes herself as a "progressive liberal" and has recently written against the euro, the EU Constitution and the government's downgrading of cannabis. She has questioned the legality of the war in Iraq.

Ms Phillips was awarded the Orwell Prize for Journalism in 1996 and is the author of All Must Have Prizes, criticising the state of education in Britain and Ascent of Woman, charting the suffrage movement.

Wayne Hemingway

Title: Designer

Career: Wayne Hemingway, founder of the award winning Red or Dead fashion label, is one of Britain's leading designers.

His latest company, hemingwaydesign, specialises in affordable housing projects, a cause he champions as chairman of Building For Life, which promotes quality design for new housing.

Mr Hemingway, who has worked with under-privileged youths with the Prince's Trust and the British Fashion Council, admits he has a "big mouth" and has accused the fashion industry of pandering to the rich.

BBC One's Question Time is broadcast this Thursday at 22:35 GMT.


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