BBC Question Time is set to return to Hartlepool

Question Time host David Dimbleby. (Photo: BBC).
Question Time host David Dimbleby. (Photo: BBC).
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Question Time is coming back to Hartlepool.

The high-profile BBC1 political panel show, hosted by David Dimbleby, will come from the town on Thursday, October 20.

The programme is watched by millions of people which brings really good profile to the town.

Mayor Coun Rob Cook

The programme has made several stops in Hartlepool previously.

A visit in July 2010 saw panellists including UKIP leader Nigel Farage, RMT General Secretary Bob Crow and Sadiq Khan - then Labour MP for Tooting and shadow transport secretary, now Mayor of London - fielding questions from the audience.

Mayor of Hartlepool Coun Rob Cook said it was good for the profile of the town to receive exposure on national TV.

“We are delighted to welcome Question Time back to Hartlepool,” he said.

“The programme is watched by millions of people which brings really good profile to the town.”

While Question Time seeks to cover a broad range of political subjects, it seems inevitable that Brexit and the terms of Britain’s departure from the EU will be a major talking point.

The town proved to be one of the most Euro-sceptic places in Britain in the June referendum, with 70 per cent of voters backing Brexit.

The town cast 32,071 ballots in favour of Brexit, compared with 14,029 in favour of staying in the EU.

The anti-European sentiment shows little sign of abating in the three months since the ballot, with the UK Independence Party (UKIP) celebrating the election of its sixth councillor in the town in a by-election last week.

Former town fireman Tim Fleming won the Headland & Harbour ward, previously held by Labour’s Peter Jackson who stood down due to work commitments.

The turn-out of just 17.8 per cent, however, was in stark contrast to the referendum, which saw almost two-thirds of eligible cast their ballot.

UKIP interim leader Nigel Farage tweeted after the victory: “Big win in Hartlepool with UKIP gaining a seat from Labour. UKIP taking on Labour in their heartlands.”

UKIP Hartlepool chairman Councillor John Tenant described the result as ‘quite a hammer blow for Labour.’

But Labour councillor Kevin Cranney said the result and low turnout of reflected public dissatisfaction with politicians generally rather than Labour specifically.

Tickets for Question Time at the Borough Hall are limited and anyone wishing to attend should go to the BBC website www.bbc.co.uk and apply by visiting the programme’s homepage and clicking on the link.