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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 March 2006, 16:53 GMT
This week's panel
Question Time, the BBC's premier political programme, will be in Ipswich on Thursday, 23 March 2006.

David Dimbleby will be joined for the interactive debate by Tony Benn, Boris Johnson MP, David Laws MP, Director of Liberty Shami Chakrabarti and Director General of the CBI Digby Jones.

Tony Benn

Title: Former Cabinet Minister

Career: The veteran left-wing MP stood down at the 2001 election after 50 years in politics.

He fought 17 parliamentary elections and served on his party's National Executive for more than 30 years.

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Tony Benn opposed the war in Iraq and interviewed Saddam Hussein before the conflict started.

Mr Benn is joining us at short notice after Harriet Harman was withdrawn by the Labour Party last night.

Boris Johnson MP

Title: Shadow Higher Education Minister

Career: Boris Johnson resigned as editor of The Spectator magazine to join David Cameron's front bench team.

Former Tory leader Michael Howard sacked Boris Johnson as Shadow Arts Minister in November 2004.

Re-elected as MP for Henley at the 2005 general election, Mr Johnson originally inherited the seat from Michael Hestletine in 2001.

He is well known for his appearances on Have I Got News For You.

David Laws MP

Title: Liberal Democrat Work and Pensions Spokesman

Career: David Laws supported Menzies Campbell in the recent leadership election and is responsible for Liberal Democrat Work and Pensions policy.

Previously on the Liberal Democrat treasury team, he favours private sector innovation in the provision of public services.

A former Liberal Democrat Policy Director, he won former leader Paddy Ashdown's constituency of Yeovil at the 2001 general Election.

David Laws was Vice-President of JP Morgan at 22 years old, and is a self-made millionaire.

Shami Chakrabarti

Title: Director of Liberty

Career: Shami Chakrabarti has been director of the human rights and civil liberties organization, Liberty since 2003.

A barrister by background, she was called to the Bar in 1994 and then joined the Home Office as a lawyer.

Shami Chakrabartim is married and has a young son.

CBI chief executive Digby Jones

Title: CBI Director-General

Career: Digby Jones is in his seventh year as director-general of the CBI.

He started his career in the Royal Navy and then joined a corporate law firm.

Digby appears regularly in the media promoting the interests of wealth and job creation in the UK.

BBC One's Question Time is broadcast on Thursdays at 2240 GMT.


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