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Question Time



Last Updated: Thursday, 7 December 2006, 17:17 GMT
This week's panel
Question Time, the BBC's premier political debate programme chaired by David Dimbleby, will be broadcast from London.

He will be joined by Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Ruth Kelly, Shadow home secretary David Davis, author Martin Amis, writer and broadcaster Mariella Frostrup and editor-at-large of the Daily Telegraph Jeff Randall.


Ruth Kelly MP

Title: Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

Career: Ruth Kelly was the youngest woman ever to sit in cabinet when she was promoted to education secretary in December 2004.

A practising Catholic, the relationship between her religious views and her equality brief have drawn much attention from the media, with one newspaper revealing that she had absented herself from many crucial votes on gay rights.

She was also criticised for refusing to comment on whether she considered homosexuality a sin.


David Davis

Title: Shadow home secretary

Career: A member of parliament since 1987, David Davis has contested the Conservative Party leadership on two occasions, losing first in 2001 to Iain Duncan Smith, who then appointed him chairman of the party.

In the next leadership race, he was rewarded for his support for Michael Howard with the post of Shadow Home Secretary in Howard's shadow cabinet.

In this role, which he continues to hold today, he has spearheaded the Tories' rejection of Labour's ID card policy.

He famously lost out to David Cameron in last year's leadership contest, having entered the race as the frontrunner.

During the campaign, he urged the Tories to seek a fresh start, telling them, "let's stop apologising and get on with the job".


Martin Amis

Title: Author

Career: Martin Amis is one of Britain's best-known living novelists, author of the critically acclaimed Money and London Fields.

Son of the writer Kingsley Amis, his most recent work, The House of Meetings, was published in September.

He has recently turned his attention to Islamism and its relationship with the Western world in the wake of 11 September 2001.

He stoked up controversy in October when he described Islamic fundamentalists as "boring bastards", saying, "When I come back to Britain I see a pretty good multicultural society. The only element that is not fitting in is Islam."


Mariella Frostrup

Title: Writer and broadcaster

Career: Born in Norway and raised in Ireland, Mariella Frostrup is a well-known journalist and presenter.

A regular presenter of Open Book on Radio 4, and The Culture Show on BBC Two, she has also written for a number of newspapers, including The Observer.

She is an art critic and has sat on the judging panels for the Man Booker Prize and the Orange Prize for Fiction.


Jeff Randall

Title: Editor-at-large of the Daily Telegraph

Career: Jeff Randall was business editor of BBC News before joining the Telegraph in 2005.

He has also been assistant editor and sports editor of The Sunday Times, and won the London Press Club's Business Journalist of the Year Award in 2000.

He is known to be on close terms with press baron Rupert Murdoch and brokered a truce between Murdoch and former Tory chairman Michael Ashcroft when Ashcroft sued the Times for libel.

He recently revealed that whilst at the BBC he was rebuked for wearing Union Jack cufflinks on air.

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