The Oxford Union will be the venue for the BBC’s Question Time later this month, it was announced today.
The debating society – whose former Presidents include Boris Johnson, Ted Heath and Michael Gove – will host the topical debate programme chaired by David Dimbleby on Thursday, April 27.
Speaking exclusively to Cherwell, President of the Oxford Union, Michael Li, commented:
“The Union is looking forward to hosting this prestigious and engaging event. We hope that many of our members and other students apply to be in the audience. The collaboration is yet another example of the Union’s commitment to hosting the conversations that matter.”
— Oxford Union (@OxfordUnion) April 10, 2017
The announcement was also welcomed by many Oxford students.
Alex Yeandle, a first-year PPE student at St. Hugh’s College, said: “The Oxford Union has a rich history of free speech and debate, so is a fitting location for one of the most popular and long running political programmes in Britain.
“Seeing Question Time in the Union’s historic debating chamber will be quite something. I hope I’m lucky enough to be in the audience!”
Arjun Sharma, who is reading Ancient and Modern History, added: “I’m really excited about seeing Question Time coming to Oxford. I watch it every week, as I try to keep up with political issues, and have already applied to be in the audience.”
“This will be an invaluable opportunity for Oxford students to investigate political issues that matter to us.”
This is not the first time that the Oxford Union, which was founded in 1823, has hosted a major BBC event.
In November 2015, a debate in the Oxford Union on Britain and the EU was broadcast on BBC Parliament, with former president of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso, Conservative MP Bill Cash, former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg and UKIP leader Nigel Farage participating as speakers.
Students can apply to be in the audience here: