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Question Time



Last Updated: Thursday, 19 April 2007, 16:36 GMT 17:36 UK
This week's panel
Question Time, the BBC's premier political programme chaired by David Dimbleby, came from Liverpool on 19 April.

He was joined by the Minister for Charities Ed Miliband, the former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith MP, the Liberal Democrat peer Dr Jenny Tonge, the actress Jan Ravens and the columnist and historian Bruce Anderson.


Ed Miliband MP

Career: Ed Miliband is the Minister for Charities, based in the Cabinet Office.

Prior to his election in 2005, he worked since 1997 as a special adviser to the Chancellor in the Treasury. Seen as a 'Brownite', he is nonetheless said to be highly regarded by Tony Blair.

Ed is the younger brother of David Miliband - who is being urged by some to challenge Gordon Brown for the leadership - and the son of the celebrated Marxist historian Ralph Miliband.


Iain Duncan Smith MP

Career: Iain Duncan Smith was Conservative leader between 2001 and 2003, after serving on William Hague's front bench as shadow defence secretary.

During his time as leader he urged Tony Blair to act over Iraq, saying in 2002: "It is now time for the prime minister to explain to the British people what he already knows - that Iraq is a clear and growing danger to Britain."

He now heads the Social Justice Commission under David Cameron, which has recently championed the family.


Baroness Tonge

Career: Now in the House of Lords, Dr Jenny Tonge stood down as a Liberal Democrat MP at the last general election.

As an MP she was sacked by Charles Kennedy from the Liberal Democrat frontbench as the party's spokeswoman on children, after empathising with suicide bombers in Palestine.

Baroness Tonge is also a former Liberal Democrat spokeswoman on international development.


Jan Ravens

Career: Jan Ravens is an actress and ambassador for the charity ActionAid. She is well-known for her impressions of figures including Nigella Lawson, Madonna, Fiona Bruce and Anne Robinson on the BBC's comedy show Dead Ringers.

The first female president of the Cambridge University Footlights club, she originally trained as a drama teacher and directed contemporaries Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie and Emma Thompson.

After moving to London, she went on to work for TV programmes including Whose Line Is it Anyway? and Spitting Image and also spent time at the Royal Shakespeare Company.


Bruce Anderson

Career: Bruce Anderson is a controversial columnist and Conservative historian. He wrote a biography of John Major and has just released one of David Cameron, whom he backed from early on in the last leadership contest.

He holds strong views against immigration, 'political correctness' and the environment.

He caused outrage after Hurricane Katrina by suggesting that the deaths in New Orleans were a result of a "culture of dependency" among Afro-Caribbeans.

Watch Question Time from Liverpool

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