The National:

THE line-up for this week's Question Time has been revealed ... and this may just be the beginning of a familiar pattern.

Westminster politics has been buffeted this week by the defection of several Labour and Tory MPs to the new Independent Group.

Understandably then, one of their representatives is appearing on the panel this this week – broadcast from Chester.

The full list is:

  • Mel Stride, Conservative MP and financial secretary to the Treasury
  • Andy McDonald, Labour MP and shadow transport secretary
  • John Barnes, former footballer who is writing a book about discrimination
  • Ella Whelan, columnist for Spiked magazine
  • Chris Leslie, Independent MP for Nottingham East (formerly Labour)

We do not yet have next week's line-up in full, but we do know we'll be having Chuka Umunna and journalist Lionel Shriver.

Umunna is, of course, a member of the Independent Group of MPs. So in two weeks, that will be two appearances from the party with 11 members in Westminster.

The SNP have 35, and we're just starting to wonder whether it's the case that the smaller Independent party – rather than the pro-independence party – that will be getting the most places on the panel in weeks to come.