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Last Updated: Friday, 19 November, 2004, 00:08 GMT
This week's panel
Question Time, the BBC's premier political programme chaired by David Dimbleby, was in Norwich on 18 November. He was joined for the interactive debate by Ben Bradshaw MP, Tim Yeo MP, Jenny Tonge MP, former BBC director general Greg Dyke and Countryside Alliance Chief Executive Simon Hart.


Title: Rural Affairs Minister

Career: Ben Bradshaw's responsibilities at Defra include nature conservation and animal health and welfare.

As foreign office minister, he was squirted with fake blood in 2001 by a protester demonstrating against British military action in Afghanistan.
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The former BBC Berlin correspondent fought a bruising 1997 election campaign, during which his homosexuality was made an issue by the defeated Conservative candidate.

Tim Yeo MP


Title: Shadow Environment and Transport Secretary

Career: Tim Yeo has called the proposed hunting ban a "vendetta against parts of the countryside".

He has held his current role since June. Previously he had a "super-brief" covering both health and education, which led to claims that the party had "downgraded" public services.

In 2002, he criticised the BBC licence fee calling it a "compulsory and regressive television tax".

Jenny Tonge


Title: Liberal Democrat MP

Career: Jenny Tonge was sacked from her front bench job in January for empathising with Palestinian suicide bombers.

The former doctor is known for her outspoken views and has argued that cannabis should be legalised and heroin "medicalised", to treat more addicts on the NHS.

Dr Tonge, who represents Richmond Park in south west London, will not be standing in the next general election, in order to spend more time with her family.

Greg Dyke


Title: Former Director General of the BBC

Career: Greg Dyke has remained critical of the government since the Gilligan report row which led him to resign.

Ironically, he was accused by some of Labour cronyism when he became director general in 2000. He had worked before at LWT, and was behind the creation of Roland Rat.

While at the BBC's helm he worked on cutting bureaucracy and concentrating spending on programme making. He famously told staff to "cut the crap" and said the BBC was "hideously white".

Simon Hart


Title: Countryside Alliance Chief Executive

Career: Simon Hart says the pro-hunting Countryside Alliance will continue its fight against a ban on hunting.

The group has considered challenging the legality of the 1949 Parliament Act and taking the issue to the European Court of Human Rights on the grounds a ban unfairly denies trade.

Simon Hart has said: "This is not the end of our campaign - it is just the beginning of the next stage."

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


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