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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 November 2005, 17:05 GMT
This week's panel
Question Time, the BBC's premier political programme, was in Newbury on Thursday, 17 November, 2005.

David Dimbleby was joined by the Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer, David Willetts MP, Baroness Williams, Alice Miles of The Times, and speech writer and author Derek Laud.

Lord Falconer
LORD FALCONER QC

Title: Constitutional Affairs Secretary and Lord Chancellor

Career: Lord Falconer was appointed by the Prime Minister to his current post in 2003.

His previous positions in government include solicitor general, Dome minister and cabinet office minister.

A lawyer, Charlie Falconer shared a flat with Tony Blair when they were first called to the bar.


David Willetts MP
DAVID WILLETTS MP

Title: Shadow Trade and Industry Secretary

Career: David Willetts is backing David Davis in the Conservative leadership battle, having decided not to run himself.

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Previously shadow work and pensions secretary, he has also shadowed education and employment portfolios.

In 1996 David Willetts quit as paymaster general over the Neil Hamilton "cash for questions" affair.


Baroness Williams
BARONESS WILLIAMS

Title: Liberal Democrat

Career: Shirley Williams stood down as Liberal Democrat leader in the House of Lords last year, retiring from frontline politics after 30 years.

An MP for 17 years, Shirley Williams was a cabinet minister in Jim Callaghan's government and an architect of the comprehensive system as education secretary.

She left the Labour Party and became co-founder of the SDP in 1981.


Alice Miles
ALICE MILES

Title: Associate Editor, The Times

Career: Alice Miles has been a columnist at The Times since 1999.

After graduating from Southampton University she joined the Mail on Sunday as a trainee. Since then she has qualified as a barrister, been a political reporter for the Evening Standard and chief leader writer for the Express.

Alice lives in London and has a young daughter.


Derek Laud
DEREK LAUD

Title: Speech writer and Author

Career: Derek Laud has just finished writing six children's stories.

He is a professional speech writer and wrote speeches for Baroness Thatcher. He was also a successful contestant in the Big Brother house earlier this year.

Derek is a campaigner for the Countryside Alliance and was a master of the foxhounds with the New Forest foxhounds.


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



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