BBC Question Time returns tomorrow with a return to the virtual audience format from the north east of Scotland.
Fiona Bruce will be hosting BBC’s flagship political show from Scotland amid a week that is not short of political discussion points.
With Scotland distributing over one million coronavirus vaccine first doses, the fallout from Brexit, the Salmond Inquiry latest and the upcoming Scottish election in May, there are a number of hot topics for the panel to discuss.
Lord Michael Forsyth, Conservative
Lord Michael Forsyth will appear on the BBC Question Time and will likely be vocal about the issues facing the fishing industry. The former Scottish Secretary under John Major is the Chairman of the Economic Affairs Committee.
Lord Forsyth has been vocal on issues of Brexit impacting the fishing industry saying that Boris Johnson “selling out our fishing industry is anathema”, adding that the UK voted to “take back control of our waters” and the UK didn’t “need to be selling out our key basic industries”
Lord Forsyth of Drumlean, who served as an MP for Stirling from 1983 to 97, campaigned against the creation of the Scottish Parliament and also backed Brexit, stating that when the Prime Minister successfully passed his deal through parliament, Johnson “had his triumph”. In the Lords on 30 December 2020 in the House of Lords he said: “The fundamental point is that our country is free again to make whatever arrangements it sees fit for our country.”
He recently co-authored the report which says Universal Credit is failing millions of people, with Lord Forsyth stating the benefit is too rigid and is harming the very people it was supposed to help.
On the Question Time panel tomorrow, we have @lord_forsyth, @IanMurrayMP, @JeaneF1MSP, Stephen Fitzpatrick and @AngelaHaggerty. Join us at 10:45pm on @BBCOne with a virtual audience from North East Scotland. #bbcqt pic.twitter.com/k2Fo5CL836
— BBC Question Time (@bbcquestiontime) February 10, 2021
Ian Murray, Labour
The Shadow Scottish secretary Ian Murray will also feature on the panel for the BBC One show. The Edinburgh South MP has never rebelled against his party in the current parliament and campaigned against leaving the EU.
He has also been vocal about the impact of Scottish independence stating that a second independence referendum would be a “complete dereliction of duty” for Scotland. Murray also wrote in a column in the Edinburgh Evening News recently that Scottish independence would damage the health service, social care and education adding that “Separating from the UK would be a folly that would hit the most deprived communities hardest.”
In September, Murray called for the SNP to be scrutinised over their “confusing” Covid decisions. Murray, who was elected as an MP in 2010, also served as the Chair of the Foundation of Hearts and played a crucial role in saving the football club.
The MP, who is Scotland’s only Labour MP, has also made headlines in recent weeks for backing Anas Sarwar as the future Scottish Labour leader.
He is talking about the priorities of the Scottish people. He has a plan for now and into the future.
He can rebuild the party so we can, together, transform the country.
Watch this video before you vote 👇🏻 https://t.co/pDsI1PXGVF
— Ian Murray MP (@IanMurrayMP) February 9, 2021
Jeane Freeman, SNP
The SNP will be represented on the panel by Health Secretary Jeane Freeman. The MSP for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley will appear on the show the day after more than one million people in Scotland have had their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine.
On the country reaching the milestone, the MSP said: “This is an important milestone in the biggest vaccination programme ever delivered in Scotland and I would like to thank everyone involved and all those who have taken up their offer of a vaccine.
“We have now given first doses to more than a million people in the groups which were prioritised to address 99 per cent of preventable deaths associated with Covid-19.”
Many many thanks to everyone involved in making this happen and to everyone coming forward for their jag. We’re not done yet but this is a great achievement. Thank you🙏🏻 https://t.co/lcGWIP5Zbw
— Jeane Freeman (@JeaneF1MSP) February 10, 2021
The Health Secretary has played a key role in Scotland’s battle during the Covid-19 pandemic and has outlined aims to have all adults vaccinated by the summer. Viewers can expect Freeman to represent the Scottish Government’s approach to the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Owner of OVO Energy, Stephen Fitzpatrick will be part of the Question Time panel. The former owner of the Manor Racing team is the President of Vertical Aerospace who are working on “flying taxis” using electric power. The energy company aims to make energy ‘cheaper, greener and simpler’ for everyone. He donated £173,000 to the Conservatives in 2019 according to the FT.
In an earlier appearance on BBC QT, he backed Boris Johnson’s ‘no deal’ Brexit threats stating it was the “absolutely right” tactic in a bid to try and get the deal done.
Rounding off the BBC Question Time panel is Angela Haggerty. The journalist and broadcaster and former Sunday Herald News Editor is frequently seen as a commentator on the BBC, STV and Sky News Press Preview.
— Captain Haggerty (@AngelaHaggerty) February 10, 2021
In January she warned that Boris Johnson could bolster support for Scottish independence amid broken promises for the fishing sector.
Question Time will air on BBC One at 10:45pm