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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 November, 2004, 10:25 GMT
This week's panel
Question Time, the BBC's premier political programme chaired by David Dimbleby, was in Glasgow on 11 November. He was joined for the interactive debate by Cathy Jamieson MSP, Francis Maude MP, Alex Salmond MP, Rosie Kane MSP and journalist Peter Oborne.

Cathy Jamieson MSP

CATHY JAMIESON MSP

Title: Justice Minister, Scottish Executive

Career: Cathy Jamieson has put attempts to cut the high rate of re-offending at the centre of the fight against crime.

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Her most recent measure is an extra 6 million for drug treatment and rehabilitation services in Scotland. She is Labour's deputy leader in the Scottish Parliament and survived opposition calls to resign earlier this year over blunders in the privatised prison escort service.

Prior to her election she worked in the voluntary sector and as a social worker. She was principal officer of Who Cares? Scotland, the children's advocacy organisation, and a member of the Edinburgh Child Abuse Inquiry team.


Francis Maude MP

FRANCIS MAUDE MP

Title: Conservative MP

Career: Having risen up the political tree twice during his career, Francis Maude is once again a backbencher.

The son of former Conservative minister Angus Maude, he was first elected MP for North Warwickshire in 1983, after practising at the criminal bar. Under Margaret Thatcher and then John Major, he was a minister at the DTI, the Foreign Office and the Treasury. He co-authored the Thatcherite "No Turning Back" pamphlet.

He lost his seat at the 1992 election, but returned as MP for Horsham in 1997 and to the Conservative front bench as shadow chancellor and then shadow foreign secretary. He managed Michael Portillo's bid for the Tory leadership in 2001, before stepping down to the back benches.


Alex Salmond MSP

ALEX SALMOND MP

Title: Scottish National Party Leader

Career: Alex Salmond was re-elected as leader of the SNP last month. He won 75% of the party vote, replacing John Swinney who resigned in June.

He had already led the party for a ten-year spell up to 2000. During this time he repositioned the left-wing party as more social democratic and pro-European, achieving success at the ballot box and helping Scotland achieve devolution.

He says Scottish independence is now "more likely than it has ever been". And he has said "the election in Scotland boils down to a straight match between the SNP who can be trusted to vote for Scotland or a Labour Party who will vote for Blair regardless of Scottish interests."


Rose Kane

ROSIE KANE MSP

Title: Scottish Socialist Party Environment Spokesperson

Career: In July this year Rosie Kane raised 200 for Scotland's Homeless World Cup football team by camping out in Glasgow's George Square in her pyjamas for six hours.

Representing Glasgow, and one of six Scottish Socialist MSPs, she also raised eyebrows by wearing jeans and a multi-coloured blouse during the swearing-in ceremony at the Scottish Parliament.

She actively campaigns against motorway construction, water fluoridation and GM crops, and has raised awareness of the toxic waste in South East Glasgow. She was found guilty of breaching the peace during an anti-nuclear demonstration at Faslane naval base in October 2001.


Peter Oborne

PETER OBORNE

Title: Political Journalist

Career: As well as being political editor for the Spectator, Peter Oborne writes for various newspapers, including The Scotsman, The Observer and The Daily Mail.

His unofficial biography of Tony Blair's former communications adviser, Alastair Campbell: New Labour and the Rise of the Media Class, calls Campbell an alpha male and accuses him of "the most blatant and outrageous briefings against the Chancellor".

He has also written a biography of the South African cricketer Basil D-Oliveira, and an inside view of the government - Inside Blair's Bunker - co-authored with Simon Walters.


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

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