Page last updated at 16:46 GMT, Wednesday, 9 June 2010 17:46 UK

The Plymouth panel

Question Time, the BBC's premier political debate programme comes from Plymouth on Thursday 10 June.

David Dimbleby will be joined by the Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt, the shadow culture secretary Ben Bradshaw, the leader of the Respect Party, Salma Yaqoob, the businesswomen Katie Hopkins and the journalist and author Toby Young.


Jeremy Hunt MP

Jeremy Hunt is the Conservative Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport and the MP for South West Surrey.

After university, he worked as an English teacher in Japan, before returning to the UK where he joined Profile PR and went on to found the company Hotcourses.

He entered parliament in 2005. After supporting David Cameron's bid for leadership of the Conservative Party, he was appointed shadow minister for disabled people.

He was then promoted to the shadow cabinet as shadow secretary of state for culture, media and sport, in 2007.

Talking about cuts a few weeks ago, he said "I have asked our bodies to make these savings while protecting frontline services wherever possible, and without interrupting the Olympic programme.

"I understand this will involve some difficult decisions, but the reality is that we face an incredibly tough public spending environment".


Ben Bradshaw MP

Ben Bradshaw is the Labour MP for Exeter and the shadow secretary of state for culture.

He worked as a journalist before entering politics, covering the fall of the Berlin Wall as a reporter for BBC radio, and winning the Sony News Reporter Award in 1993.

He was elected as the MP for Exeter in 1997 and became a parliamentary private secretary in the Department of Health in 2000.

After the 2001 General Election he entered Tony Blair's government, working as a junior minister in the Foreign Office and becoming a health minister in 2007.

He was promoted to the cabinet in 2009 as culture secretary.

He nominated David Miliband for the Labour leadership, saying: "I could happily support either of the Eds. But, in the end, it has to be David.

"He possesses the most comprehensive range of leadership qualities and he is ready.

"We don't just need a leader who can renew and re-energise the Labour movement or make us feel good about ourselves.

"We need one who is also capable of delivering hard truths to the Labour party when required."


Salma Yaqoob

Salma Yaqoob is the leader of the Respect Party and a Birmingham City councillor.

Yaqoob grew up in Birmingham, and trained as a psychotherapist before becoming interested in politics during the period following the September 2001 terror attacks in the US and the subsequent invasion of Afghanistan by coalition forces.

As head of the Birmingham Stop the War Coalition, she was one of the founding members of Respect, a coalition of left-wing organisations founded in 2004 in opposition to the Iraq war.

In 2006, she was elected as a councillor in the Birmingham Sparkbrook ward, saying her election was "only possible because we united people around a progressive message of anti-racism and social justice".

In the 2010 general election she stood as the Respect candidate for Birmingham Hall Green constituency, finishing in second place.

Speaking a few weeks ago, she said "We must reject the failed policy of cuts. It has no logic, no support and no mandate from the voters. Instead, we can and should invest in our future"


Katie Hopkins

Katie Hopkins is a businesswoman and reality television star, best known for her appearance on the third series of The Apprentice.

Hopkins is a business operator, trained economist, graduate of the Royal Academy Sandhurst and management consultant.

Since The Apprentice, she has gone on to launch her own consultancy firm and has made various media appearances, including taking part in I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!

In 2009 she stood as the only Independent candidate for MEP for the South West.

Talking about immigration during her campaign, she said: "Our current economic situation demands that we revise our immigration policy.

"We do not understand the fundamentals of current immigration. How many? Where? For how long?

"Until we understand our current position and are in a position to repair our damaged economy and labour market, we are not in a position to leave our doors wide open."


Toby Young

Toby Young is a critic, journalist and author. He is associate editor of The Spectator and a blogger for the Daily Telegraph.

After graduating from university, he worked at The Times before founding the Modern Review magazine with Julie Burchill.

His most famous book, How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, documents his experience of working at Vanity Fair magazine in the US, and was recently made into a Hollywood film.

He is currently leading the efforts of a parent group in West London to set up a state secondary school.

Discussing the Labour leadership this week, he said: "If I was Diane Abbott I would now announce my withdrawal from the contest.

"She clearly doesn't have a hope and to be kept in the race by an opponent, hoping to profit from the fact that he is seen to be supporting a black woman, is an insult too far."

Question Time will be on BBC One at 2235 BST on Thursday 10 June and available on BBC iPlayer after transmission.

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