Anti war anger over Question Time panellists

The BBC was involved in a fresh row over its flagship Question Time programme today when it was accused of not reflecting public opinion in a line-up of panellists set to discuss the war in Afghanistan.

The current affairs programme will be broadcast next week from Wootton Bassett, the Wiltshire town where bodies of British soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan have passed through in recent years, drawing huge crowds.

Last month, the 100th funeral cortege passed through the town centre.

The panel will include General Sir Richard Dannatt, former head of the British Army, Armed Forces minister Bill Rammell, shadow foreign secretary William Hague, former Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan, and Salma Yaqoob from Respect.

Lindsey German, convener of the Stop The War Coalition, said: "It is quite incredible that the BBC is repeating the mistakes of its coverage round the Iraq war. Then it consistently underplayed anti-war voices in its coverage and allowed excessive space to those most keen on prosecuting this war.

"This debate on Afghanistan has only one clear anti-war voice on it. This does not reflect public opinion in Britain, which is in its large majority against the war."

Question Time editor Ed Havard said: "Wootton Bassett has come to symbolise the nation's respect for fallen servicemen and we have already had a huge number of people apply to take part in this programme and to debate the issues with leading figures such as Richard Dannatt, Bill Rammell and William Hague."

The BBC came under fire for inviting BNP leader Nick Griffin on to Question Time in October.