Page last updated at 14:22 GMT, Wednesday, 7 April 2010 15:22 UK

This week's panel

Question Time, the BBC's premier political debate programme comes from Woking on Wednesday 7 April.

The panel includes Foreign Secretary David Miliband, shadow work and pensions secretary Theresa May, the former leader of the Liberal Democrats Sir Menzies Campbell, the historian Simon Schama and Daily Telegraph columnist Janet Daley.


DAVID MILIBAND

David Miliband

David Miliband is the foreign secretary and Labour MP for South Shields.

He became an MP in 2001 and joined the cabinet in 2005 after Labour's third election victory.

When Gordon Brown became Prime Minister, Miliband was promoted to foreign secretary - at 41, the youngest person to hold the position in 30 years. His brother Ed joined the cabinet at the same time.

He is said to be the heir apparent to Gordon Brown but eventually threw his support behind the PM after Geoff Hoon and Patricia Hewitt called for a ballot on his leadership in January.

In his election blog this week he wrote: "It seems to me the Labour Party has three jobs in this campaign. To show how far Britain has come and take on the myth that our country is in decline... we need also to show we have ideas for the future... and finally we need to show the sham claim that the Tory Party has 'changed' for what it is."


THERESA MAY

Theresa May

Theresa May is the Conservative MP for Maidenhead and shadow secretary of state for work and pensions and shadow minister for women.

Having entered parliament in 1997, she soon became a member of William Hague's front-bench team as shadow spokesman for schools, disabled people and women.

After David Cameron became leader, she was appointed shadow leader of the House and was subsequently made shadow secretary of state for work and pensions in 2009.

May recently said: "Labour's failure on child poverty has been symptomatic of their failed approach in other key areas of social policy.

"Rather than taking action to tackle the causes of crime, or unemployment, or inequality, and trusting the front-line professionals and voluntary organisations who have the answers to many of these problems, Labour's top-down response has failed vulnerable people."


MING CAMPBELL

Sir Menzies Campbell

Ming Campbell is the former Liberal Democrat leader and MP for Fife North East.

He has been an MP since 1987 and became the Liberal Democrat chief spokesman on foreign affairs and defence in 1992.

He later became deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats in 2003, standing in on occasion for Charles Kennedy.

He became interim leader after Kennedy was forced to resign in January 2006 and won the subsequent leadership contest against Simon Hughes and Chris Huhne.

However, after Gordon Brown did not call a General Election in 2007, he stepped down as leader.

Campell recently said that "If Armageddon happened and we were faced with a Tory government, then the argument for increased cooperation with the centre-left might not be a matter of choice but a matter of compulsion."


SIMON SCHAMA

Simon Schama

Simon Schama is a professor of history. He is best known for writing and hosting the 15-part BBC documentary series A History of Britain.

He was also an art and cultural critic for The New Yorker and is currently presenting BBC Radio 4's Point of View.

Schama has campaigned for Labour in the 1964 and 2005 general elections. He declared last year that he is a Labour supporter "probably to my death".

He recently defended Gordon Brown over the bullygate affair. He said that "namby-pamby is the kiss of electoral death" and that "politics is about biffs and bashes as much as deeply informed policy positions".


JANET DALEY

Janet Daley

Janet Daley is a journalist who has written for The Times, The Independent and The Sunday Telegraph.

Daley spent 20 years in academic life, teaching philosophy at the Open University and the Royal College of Art.

She wrote extensively about art and literary criticism from the late 1960's until the early 1980's and then left teaching to become a full-time journalist in 1987.

She continues to write a weekly political column for The Daily Telegraph and a blog on the website.

In a recent post she wrote: "For over a decade Labour actually appeared to have squared the circle. True, they hadn't eradicated economic inequality, or social deprivation, or educational underachievement. But most of the influential, opinion-forming classes stayed rich enough and satisfied enough to keep the ship - and the myth of the "social market" solution - afloat.

"Then came the crash and the game was up. Suddenly tax increases aren't so much fun anymore. The hidden objective of Labour's philosophy - promoting the free market so they could soak it for their spending projects - seems blatantly obvious."

Question Time will be on BBC One at 10.45pm on Wednesday 7 April and available on BBC iPlayer after transmission.

The programme is repeated on BBC Parliament on Sunday evening at 6pm.



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