Page last updated at 15:51 GMT, Thursday, 22 July 2010 16:51 UK

The Hartlepool panel

Question Time, the BBC's premier political debate programme comes from Hartlepool on Thursday 22 July.

David Dimbleby will be joined by the Immigration Minister Damian Green, the shadow transport secretary Sadiq Khan, UKIP's Nigel Farage, the RMT leader Bob Crow and the economist Ruth Lea.


DAMIAN GREEN

Damian Green

Damian Green is the Conservative MP for Ashford and Minister for Immigration.

In opposition, he spoke on the environment from 1999, and was promoted to the shadow cabinet by Iain Duncan Smith as the shadow secretary of state for education and skills.

Michael Howard gave him the position of shadow transport secretary. He returned to the front bench under the leadership of David Cameron as a spokesman on home affairs and shadow minister for immigration.

Speaking last week about the burka, he said: "I stand personally on the feeling that telling people what they can and can't wear, if they're just walking down the street, is a rather un-British thing to do. We're a tolerant and mutually respectful society".


SADIQ KHAN

Sadiq Khan

Sadiq Khan is the Labour MP for Tooting and shadow transport secretary.

He has been a government whip with responsibilities for the justice department and a junior minister for communities and local government. This was followed by a promotion to minister of state for transport in June 2009

In May this year, Khan said he supported Ed Miliband's leadership bid: "I think Ed Miliband is a breath of fresh air in politics 2010. He's got some of the values, the vision and the policies to take us through what will be a difficult time.

"I think one of the things we should do as a party is renew ourselves and I think Ed Miliband is equipped with the skillset to re-energise and re-invigorate the Labour party. I'm really excited by the prospect of this contest."


NIGEL FARAGE

Nigel Farage

Nigel Farage is the UK Independence Party (UKIP) MEP for South East England. He is former leader of UKIP and is currently the leader of UKIP in the European Parliament.

Farage stood against John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons, in Buckingham during the 2010 election but was unsuccessful.

Speaking recently, he said: "Wearing a burka seriously diminishes a woman's life chances in 21st Century Britain - to describe it as somehow empowering is simply moronic."


RUTH LEA

Ruth Lea

Ruth Lea is director of Global Vision, a Eurosceptic campaign group, and is a non-executive director and economic adviser to the Arbuthnot Banking Group.

She was the director of the right-wing think-tank Centre for Policy Studies until 1997.

After 16 years in the civil service, working in the Treasury and the Department of Trade and Industry, she moved to the City where she was chief economist at Mitsubishi Bank and chief UK economist at Lehman Brothers.

She then became economics editor of ITN, before spending eight years as head of the policy unit at the Institute of Directors, during which time she became a well-known commentator on business.

She said recently that "this year's £6bn of cuts is relatively modest, but more needs to be done if the government is to eliminate most of the structural budget deficit and keep our creditors happy. Next year the cuts will have to be accelerated. Deep cuts are not just right - they are essential."


BOB CROW

Bob Crow

Bob Crow is the General Secretary of the Rail Maritime and Transport Union (RMT).

After leaving school at 16, he worked for London Underground, repairing tracks. Crow joined the National Union of Railwaymen which later merged with the National Union of Seamen to form the RMT. He became General Secretary in 2002.

Speaking about the coalition's "Big Society", he said: "What David Cameron means is an "I'm-all-right-Jack" society where the majority are told to put up with crumbling, underfunded services and a handful of publicity-stunt projects are trumpeted as being the advance guard for his so-called big society."

Crow recently called for a "sustained campaign of generalised strikes across both the public and private sectors and community direct action to defend public services in the teeth of the fiscal fascism being unleashed by this ConDem government."

Question Time will be on BBC One at 2235 BST on Thursday 22 July and available on BBC iPlayer after transmission.



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