Julia Hartley-Brewer will appear on Question Time, despite a campaign calling for viewers to boycott the BBC show, RadioTimes.com understands.
Viewers are threatening to switch off the BBC’s weekly debate show after the opinionated broadcaster was listed as a panellist for Thursday night’s show.
Her inclusion in this week’s line-up has sparked controversy with the hashtag #boycottBBCQT gaining traction on Twitter.
The calls come two weeks after the TalkRadio host was accused of publishing the home address of Jolyon Maugham QC, a tax barrister who has brought to court a number of legal challenges to the Brexit process.
Maugham has since claimed to have received death threats after the leak, expressing his fury at the decision on Twitter.
Absolutely despicable of @bbcquestiontime. A fortnight after Hartley Brewer published the address of my family home, in a week in which she knew I had received death threats, our notional public service broadcaster puts her on its flagship.
Shame on it. Shame on it. https://t.co/4yh5qQBQ2x
— Jo Maugham (@JolyonMaugham) October 9, 2019
“Absolutely despicable of BBC Question Time,” he wrote. “A fortnight after Hartley-Brewer published the address of my family home, in a week in which she knew I had received death threats, our notional public service broadcaster puts her on its flagship.
“This is absolutely unforgiveable! How dare you reward her behaviour like that.”
Hartley-Brewer defended herself against the accusations on Twitter, writing: “Other people had already tweeted this same link to him, which was easily available on Google after a cursory 30 second search, as was the interview he did with the BBC all about his home giving its precise address, along with the 2 magazine interviews, all available online.”
Some have pledged their support for Maugham by vowing to not watch tonight’s show.
“This is wrong,” wrote one viewer. “Rewarding JHB with a platform is disgusting on every level.”
I find it disconcerting that @bbcquestiontime have put that peddler of hate, @JuliaHB1 on tonight's panel. This woman disclosed the family address of @JolyonMaugham in the week he received death threats, thus recklessly endangering him and his family. For shame! #BoycottBBCQT
— trevorw1953 (@trevorw1953) October 10, 2019
There have been a few times recently when, in a kind of dimly masochistic way, I have allowed myself to watch #bbcqt after a long day at work. But not tonight and probably not for a long time, if ever again. I gladly #BoycottBBCQT for giving ghouls like Hartley-Brewer a platform.
— Twiki ???? (@timtron2020) October 10, 2019
— Wendy Miller (@WendyDaxieDog) October 10, 2019
“I won’t watch it any more. I catch the clips on Twitter that I need to see. Question Time has become the home of friendly, fireside fascism for far too long,” said another.
A BBC spokesperson told RadioTimes.com: “As is the case every week, the Question Time panel is made up of politicians, public figures, & political commentators to ensure a range of views. The panellists are questioned & challenged on a range of issues that our audience wants to debate on the night”.
Question Time has previously faced criticism for its panellists, with Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage taking a seat 33 times – sparking accusations the BBC is biased.
Conservative MP Grant Shapps, Labour MP Lisa Nandy, Extinction Rebellion spokesperson Rupert Read and businessman Theo Paphitis will join Hartley-Brewer and host Fiona Bruce in Beckenham this week.
Question Times is on BBC One, Thursday 10th October at 10:35pm