Festival of Politics programme unveiled

Thursday September 6th 2018

Festival of Politics programme unveiled

The Scottish Parliament will become the first UK legislature to host the BBC’s flagship political debate programme, Question Time, when it broadcasts from the unique setting of the Debating Chamber this October as part of this year’s Festival of Politics.

The weekly BBC programme will come from the Holyrood Chamber on Thursday 11 October and is just one event in a diverse Festival programme of debate, music, comedy and film launched today. Other events include interviews with renowned author and academic Professor Mary Beard and UK political figures Lord Michael Heseltine and Dame Margaret Hodge MP. Historian Professor Emeritus Sir Tom Devine OBE will also appear.

Taking place from Wednesday 10 October to Saturday 13 October, the Festival programme explores the history that made us and the issues that will shape our future – from Brexit to the increasing use of technology. Social and cultural issues also feature strongly in this year’s programme, featuring events that will explore the politics around foodbanks, disability and housing. Political anniversaries and movements are also part of the programme including the end of the First World War, suffragettes and the #metoo campaign.

The Festival is a unique opportunity to debate these important issues with politicians, journalists, academics, commentators, poets and artists, and all set within the iconic Holyrood complex.

Speaking as the Festival’s programme was launched, the Presiding Officer the Rt Hon Ken Macintosh MSP said:

“The Festival of Politics is an opportunity for Parliament to really open its doors to the people of Scotland so they too can debate the big issues, while sitting in the heart of Scotland’s democracy.

“This is our most ambitious programme yet featuring award-winning authors and academics such as Professor Mary Beard and Darren McGarvey, political grandees Lord Michael Heseltine and Dame Margaret Hodge MP, and poets such as Ben Okri. There is something which will appeal to everyone.

“This year as part of the Festival of Politics, we will also become the first UK legislature to host the BBC’s flagship political programme, Question Time, from our Debating Chamber. For many fans of the show this will be the final opportunity to come and watch David Dimbleby in the chair of this long running and much loved political programme.”

This year’s Festival will also feature two thought-provoking exhibitions. The original artwork from the pioneering We Shall fight Until We Win graphic novel which celebrates women gaining the vote in the UK will be on display. This will be displayed beside Never Such Innocence a powerful collection of artwork and poetry created by school children in response to the First World War.

Full details of the festival programme are available from www.parliament.scot/festival

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