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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 March 2007, 17:05 GMT
This week's panel
Question Time, the BBC's premier political programme chaired by David Dimbleby, will be in Newcastle-upon-Tyne on 8 March.

He will be joined by the Minister of State for Industry & the Regions Margaret Hodge MP, the shadow trade and industry secretary Alan Duncan MP, the former newspaper editor Piers Morgan, the co-leader of the Green Party Sian Berry and the political lobbyist Colin Byrne.

MARGARET HODGE MP

Margaret Hodge MP

Career: Margaret Hodge is a Trade and Industry minister. She was the first Minister for Children when the post was created in 2003, having previously served as Minister for Lifelong Learning and Higher Education.

She was leader of Islington council for ten years before entering parliament in 1994, and has also been a chair of the Fabian Executive Committee and a visiting fellow at the Institute for Public Policy Research.

She caused controversy during the run-up to last year's local elections when she said of voters in her constituency of Barking and Dagenham: "They can't get a home for their children, they see black and ethnic minority communities moving in and they are angry. When I knock on doors I say to people, 'are you tempted to vote BNP?' and many, many, many - eight out of 10 of the white families - say 'yes'."


ALAN DUNCAN MP

Alan Duncan MP

Career: Alan Duncan is Conservative shadow trade and industry secretary. He has been an MP since 1992, and has held a number of positions in government and opposition, including shadow health secretary and vice chairman of the party.

He has been an outspoken critic of Gordon Brown, telling the BBC in July: "I'm beginning to think it is almost impossible now to have a Scottish Prime Minister because they would be at odds with the basic construction of the British constitution."

He recently made headlines when he said in a speech that the UK "is steadily becoming de-civilised" due to a "collapse of authority" amongst young people.


PIERS MORGAN

Piers Morgan

Career: At 29, Piers Morgan was made editor of the News of the World newspaper.

He then embarked on a high-profile editorship of the Mirror during which the paper became a vociferous opponent of the Iraq war.

He was sacked from the job after publishing photos of the abuse of Iraqis by British soldiers which were shown to be fake. He later said: "I didn't mind losing my job - maybe Tony Blair or one of the cabinet will have the good grace, after 100,000 Iraqis died, to lose their job."


SIAN BERRY

Sian Berry

Career: Sian Berry is co-leader of the Green Party. She was previously the party's Campaigns Co-ordinator, and the Green candidate for Hampstead and Highgate in the 2005 general election.

She co-founded the Alliance Against Urban 4x4s in 2003, which recently successfully campaigned for a higher congestion charge for larger vehicles in London.

A well-known Green Party figure, Sian has appeared on numerous TV and radio shows, from the Today Programme on Radio 4, to Richard and Judy.


COLIN BYRNE

Colin Byrne

Career: Colin Byrne is the chief executive of Weber Shandwick, one of the UK's largest political lobbying firms.

He previously worked closely with Tony Blair as his press aide and subsequently with many senior Labour figures as Labour's chief press officer. He later worked for the Prince of Wales.

In his current role he advises a number of leading companies and political bodies including Shell, Ikea, Coca-Cola, and the Russian and British governments.

SEE ALSO
Iraq Special
05 Mar 07 |  Question Time
Peter Hain answers your questions
08 Mar 07 |  Question Time


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