`Question Time' always welcomed women:LETTER

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The Independent Online
IM TEEMAN opens his article on women in Question Time ("A woman's place is round the table", 26 February) with the following sentence, which is rubbish: "Rumour has it that in his day, and off camera, Sir Robin Day used to turn his back on the female guests of Question Time."

Any such rumour is wholly false. I have never "turned my back" on any Question Time guest, male or female.

My courtesy towards guests, especially women, was always impeccable. Before quoting this alleged rumour as his opening sentence, Mr Teeman might have taken the trouble of asking for my comments or, at least, he could have quoted my detailed views on this very subject, which are on record in my memoirs.

My attitude was this: that it was unfair to the "newly discovered women", however well-qualified in their own field, to cast them among veteran parliamentarians and other hardened tele-gladiators in a mass audience programme. I never argued against women being on the Question Time panel. The argument was always about which women would be able to grapple with the major news topics of the week.

Sir Robin Day

London SW1

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