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Question Time has female panellist following all-male controversy

Harriet Harman had criticised the line-up, saying: ‘I thought we sorted this in the last century!’

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Fiona Bruce during a BBC Question Time Leaders’ Special (Jeff Overs/BBC)

Fiona Bruce during a BBC Question Time Leaders’ Special (Jeff Overs/BBC)

Fiona Bruce during a BBC Question Time Leaders’ Special (Jeff Overs/BBC)

A female Labour candidate will join the line-up on Question Time following controversy over an all-male panel.

The BBC One programme was criticised for having no women in Thursday night’s line-up, with Harriet Harman tweeting: “I thought we sorted this in the last century!”

A BBC statement said the situation was “not ideal” but a female Labour candidate – Laura Pidcock – had to pull out of the programme, presented by Fiona Bruce.

Fellow Labour candidate Anneliese Dodds has now agreed to appear on the high-profile show.

She will join Conservative Party chairman James Cleverly, the SNP’s Ian Blackford, Brexit Party chairman Richard Tice and Liberal Democrat Sir Ed Davey.

“You’re right – all-male panels are not the ideal in 2019,” the BBC News Press Team said following criticism on Twitter.

“The (female) Labour politician we announced yesterday had to pull out for personal reasons.

“We’re pleased to say Anneliese Dodds has now agreed to appear, and we’re grateful to her for stepping in at short notice.”

Labour candidate Jonathan Ashworth, who had been on the all-male panel, wrote on Twitter: “I had no idea it would be an all male panel when I agreed to do BBC Question Time.

“I don’t believe it should be an all male panel tonight, so my brilliant friend Anneliese Dodds is heading to Hull to represent Labour instead of me.

“She’ll be a fantastic voice for Labour.”

Labour candidate Ms Harman had tweeted: “Oh for goodness sake! Why does (the) BBC think men have all the answers!!! I thought we sorted this in the last century!”

PA