BBC Question Time: No government minister to appear on show’s Brexit special on eve of referendum anniversary
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Not one government representative will appear on tonight’s BBC Question Time special on Brexit as the controversial referendum marks its seventh anniversary tomorrow, it has been reported.
The flagship BBC show, which goes on air tonight, will have an audience made up entirely of Leave voters. This comes after a major poll found that only one in every five people who voted for Brexit believe things are going well.
The night before the seventh anniversary of the EU referendum, the flagship BBC show will have an audience made up entirely of Leave voters. It comes after a big new poll found that only one in every five people who voted for Brexit believe things are going well.
Alastair Campbell, a former political aide to Tony Blair who will be part of tonight’s panel, said it is "quite something" that ministers will be absent. Expressing his disappointment on Twitter, he said: "So the government won’t have a representative on BBC Question Time tonight.
“Quite something that seven years on from their flagship “achievement” they can’t face an audience made up entirely of people who voted for it. Anyone would think they were frit as Maggie used to say.”
Fiona Bruce will host the show, which will be recorded in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, where nearly three-quarters of people voted to leave the EU. The panel will include Tory backbencher John Redwood, businessman Ben Habib, Mr Campbell, Jenny Chapman of Labour, and Prof Anand Menon.
After deciding not to send a senior minister, the Conservatives reportedly planned to send Anthony Mangnall, a Parliamentary Private Secretary in the Treasury. Friday marks the one-year anniversary of the Brexit referendum, in which voters supported leaving the EU by a margin of 52% to 48%.
However, a large poll conducted for the UK in a Changing Europe think tank by pollsters Public First shows how people who supported withdrawal feel about how it has been handled. Only 18% of Leavers believe Brexit has gone "well" or "very well," while 30% believe it has "neither gone well nor badly" and 26% believe it is "too soon to say."
A second referendum is supported by less than half of the population, with 44% in favour and 33% opposed. A rerun is opposed by two-thirds of Leavers.
Meanwhile, 48% of all voters would return to the EU, while 32% would remain outside and 40% of Brexiteers who believe the process is failing would vote to rejoin the EU, while 30% would prefer to remain outside.