BALANCE at the BBC has been called into question after concerns were raised about the panel on Thursday’s Question Time.
The topical debate programme is set to welcome five guests, with only two out of the five guests representing the left of the political spectrum – with the other three having links to the Conservaties.
The panel sees SNP MP Alyn Smith and Labour MP Lucy Powell alongside Tory MP Lucy Frazer, Conservative Home columnist Emily Carver and former Home Office adviser and ex-Downing Street press chief Mo Hussein.
An SNP source told The National they were “deeply concerned with this panel”.
The National understands the BBC has been approached about this. This newspaper has also approached the broadcaster.
Frazer, MP for South East Cambridgeshire, has made headlines after making a joke about sending Scots to the “colonies” as slaves.
A clip of Frazer joking about enslaved Scots during her 2015 maiden speech in the Commons has gone viral online several times over the years.
The MP for South East Cambridgeshire told the Chamber: “[Cambridgeshire] is the home of Oliver Cromwell, who defeated the Scots at Dunbar, incorporated Scotland into his Protectorate and transported the Scots as slaves to the colonies.
“Now there is an answer to the West Lothian question – but not one that of course I would recommend.”
Her Tory colleagues then erupted into laughter.
Frazer has since apologised for the comments, saying in the aftermath she had received several furious messages from Scots on her Facebook page.
Meanwhile, guest Carver is head of media for the Inistitute of Economic Affairs, a right-wing think tank.
She previously worked as a policy advisor to a Conservative MP and has appeared on GB News, TalkTV and Jeremy Vine.
Panellist Hussein, a political commentator, worked as a special adviser to then home secretary Amber Rudd and worked in communications for the UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
They are joined by Stirling MP Smith, the SNP spokesperson on foreign affairs at Westminster who was an MEP for 15 years.
Labour’s Powell concludes the line-up. The shadow culture secretary is the representative for Manchester Central and has previously held housing and education roles within the party’s shadow cabinet.