Published On: Thu, Oct 4th, 2018

BBC Question Time LIVE: David Dimbleby hosts Emily Thornberry and David Gauke for debate

BBC Question Time

Emily Thornberry (left), David Dimbleby (centre) and David Gauke (right) (Image: GETTY )

Heated exchanges can be expected between the two senior politicians who will both sit on the panel.

Journalist Isabel Oakeshott, The Apprentice TV star and businessman Claude Littner and poet George Mpanga will complete the lineup.

Topics which are likely to be debated on this weeks Question Time include Theresa May’s rallying speech to the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, the ongoing Brexit negotiations, Boris Johnson’s Tory leadership ambitions and the UK accusing Russian intelligence of launching major cyber-attacks.

Live updates from the show can be found below.

11.50  update: That’s it for this week! 

So that’s that, another week’s Question Time is over. 

The panel discussed crime, immigration, austerity and campus ‘safe space’ culture. 

Next week’s Question Time comes from the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh. 

Mr Dimbleby invites those who want to continue the debate to head over to BBC Radio 5 Live for Question Time extra. 

Thank you for reading and we hope you found these updates interesting.


11.45 update: Final Question – ‘Was a Manchester university right to ban clapping to boost inclusion’?

Ms Oakeshott describes it as “just ludicrous”. Jokes that so-called ‘Jazz hands’, where audiance members wave instead of clapping, would be unfair to blind people. 

Mr Gauke describes the move as “silly”. 

The programme raps up with a round of applause from the audiance. 


Tonight’s Question Time panel in London (Image: BBC QUESTION TIME)

11.40 update: Emily Thornberry gets emotional on writing letters to the parents of knife crime victims

Ms Thornberry says that as a London MP one of the hardest things she has to do is write letters to the mothers of victims of knife crime. 

Says “If you keep cutting back on social services they will cut back on youth services and frankly we see the result of that. 

“In my borough we’ve had 300 of our police officers cut. That does have an affect.” 

Audiance member says her cousin, a university student, was murdered in a “very privilaged” area of London. 

Asks if more needs to be done with stop and search. 

Mr Gauke replies that stop and search “wasn’t being done well” and was sometimes “ill targeted”. 

11.38 update: David Gauke doesn’t know knife crime increase figures 

David Dimbleby asks Mr Gauke by what percentage knife crime has increased. 

Mr Gauke admits he doesn’t know. Mr Dimbleby does know, which is a little awkward. 

Mr Mpanga questions whether we can “look towards a Tory” to improve relations with young people. 

11.34 update: New Question – Is the Government doing enough to stop knife crime amongst young people?

11.28 update: Immigration debate gets heated 

Debate on immigration between Mr Mpanga and Ms Oakeshott. 

Mr Mpanga claims “a lot of British people have xenophobia in their hearts”. Groans from audiance. 

Audiance members arguing with each other with one saying “you’re a white man claiming there’s no racism in this country”. 

Another audiance member accuses her of racism. 

Dimbleby restores order. 

11.24 update: “People who come to this country need to provide a service” 

An audience member, who describes herself from a migrant background, makes a passionate case for controlled immigration. 

Says: “People who come to this country need to provide a service. 

“They need to give something back”. 

Two audience members criticise George Mpanga for “British xenophobia” comment.



11.20 update: “Controlled migration brings real benefits” 

Mr Gauke argues: “Controlled migration brings real benefits to our country. 

“We need to attract talent here. 

Calls for a “sensible pragmatic immigration policy”. 

Audiance member argues people from all over the world should be treated the same – no special treatment for EU nationals. 

11.16 update: “Uncontrolled immigration is a disaster”

Audience member says “uncontrolled immigration is a disaster” in a passionate address.

Claims its suppressing wages and working conditions.

Ms Thornberry accuses the Conservatives of having an “arbitrary cap on immigration”.

Notes that her father was looked after by “people from all over the world – he thought he was in the United Nations”.

Claims: “Our policy is that we need to look at what the needs of our economy and fulfil those”. 

Adds that some low skilled immigration is useful to the economy.  

11.12 update: Immigration debate heats up

Ms Oakeshott claims legitimate concerns about immigration were one of the main reasons before Brexit.

Argues the establishment needs to get a grip.

Says “business wants unskilled immigration because it reduces wages”.

George Mpanga accuses her of “Tory scaremongering”.

Claims “British xenophobia” is behind immigration crackdown. Mix of groans and clapping from audience.

11.10 update: New Question – Considering the low unemployment rate what is the real reason for reducing immigration?

Question Time

Isabel Oakeshott makes a point to Emily Thornberry (Image: BBC QUESTION TIME )

11.02 update: “Why are you moving towards Jeremy Corbyn” audience member attacks Tories 

An audiance member launches a powerful attack on the Conservatives, accusing the party of “moving towards Jeremy Corbyn” rather than promoting the pro free-market positions it believes in. 

Mr Gauke replies that the Labour Party has “been lost to the extreme left” and claims Theresa May is representing the British people. 

Adds: “In the end the country has to live within its means”. 

Original audience member fires back at panel: “Why do you assume the Government can spend money rather than tax payers themselves”.

10.59 update: Thornberry accuses Conservatives of using financial crisis as “excuse” to cut Government

Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry claims the Conservative Party is using austerity as “an excuse to cut back Government” 

Ms Oakeshott fires back that the financial crisis happened under the last Labour Government. Gets a powerful round of applause. 

Ms Thornberry claims Gordon Brown helped rescue the economy in 2007-8. Doesn’t get a powerful round of applause. 

10.56 update: Fierce debate over austerity 

Poet George Mpanga is laying into Conservative David Gauke MP over austerity.

Says: “The hardest hit in society have been the most vulnerable.

“Homelessness has doubled, half a million on food banks.

“Was any of it worth it?”

Mr Gauke replies: “If we hadn’t done that it wouldn’t have been fair for future generations.

“We’re back from the brink”.

Businessman Claude Littner agrees with Mr Gauke. Claims we were on the “brink of collapse” during the financial crisis”.



Emily Thornberry, David Dimbleby and Claude Littner (Image: BBC QUESTION TIME)

10.52 update: First question – “A decade on from the financial crisis was the Prime Minister right to say an end to austerity is in sight?”

10.50 update: We’re live!

And we’re live on BBC One. Host David Dimbleby is introducing the panel.

Round of applause from the audience.

Today’s show comes from Canary Wharf in London.

10.45 update: Social media users already discussing show!

It’s just before the Question Time broadcast is due to start and it’s already being passionately discussed on social media.

Doc Atherton tweets: “No Question Time for me tonight Twitter.

I have a long day tomorrow and need to rest not raise my blood pressure.’

We understand Doc. We really understand. 

10.37 update: The Question Time broadcast is due to start on BBC One at 10.45pm.

There is likely to be fiery debate about Brexit, the leadership of the Conservative Party and Russian hacking.

It is being broadcast from London’s Canary Wharf, one of the city’s main financial centres. 

Who is Emily Thornberry?

Ms Thornberry is Shadow Foreign Secretary and Labour MP for Islington South.

She is the favourite to be the next Labour Party leader.

Who is David Gauke?

Mr Gauke is the Justice Minister and Tory MP for South West Hertfordshire.

Previously he held the position of Justice Minister.

Who is Isabel Oakeshott?

Ms Oakeshott is a conservative leaning author and journalist.

She was formerly political editor of the Sunday Times.

Who is George Mpanga?

Mr Mpanga is a poet who introduced coverage of this year’s Royal wedding.

He is also an Ambassador for Prince Harry’s Sentebale charity.

Who is Claude Littner?

Mr Littner is an entrepreneur and businessman.

He is best known for advising Lord Sugar on The Apprentice TV show.

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