Britain braced for all-women’s Question Time

By Alex Stevenson

Panellists on tonight’s edition of BBC1’s Question Time will be faced with an all-women audience, as the programme marks international women’s week.

Every other aspect of the programme will remain unaltered, with the complete absence of men in the audience the only shift from the usual format.

Tonight’s programme, which is recorded in Dewsbury, will feature gardener Monty Don on the panel.

Fawcett Society chief executive Ceri Goddard has welcomed the BBC’s decision.

“There’s no such thing as a ‘bloc vote’ of women. But the political parties’ consideration of women in their policy development falls well short of our expectations,” she said.

“On all the big issues from the economy, to crime, to support for families, politicians often fail to consider or fail to explain what the impact of these decisions will be on women – and often they are starkly different from their impact on men.

“We look forward to women being able to grill politicians on all the big issues, and look forward to politicians being made to account for how their policies affect women.”

The current affairs programme last hit the headlines when it allowed British National party leader Nick Griffin on to its panel.

Pundits expressed concern that the far-right party could benefit from the huge publicity, but Mr Griffin’s appearance was met by large protests outside BBC Television Centre.