THE announcement of right-wing columnist Melanie Phillips’ appearance on BBC’s Question Time tonight has been met with anger.

The author of Londonistan – a book branded by many as “islamophobic” – will be on the panel alongside SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn, Tory minister Lee Rowley, Labour’s Jonathan Reynolds and broadcaster Ayesha Hazarika.

Phillips, a columnist for The Times, also contributes regularly to  The Jerusalem Post and The Jewish Chronicle.

Author Monisha Rajesh said on Twitter/X that the BBC are platforming “one of the most Islamophobic, hateful columnists in existence.”

The BBC itself has previously described Phillips as "one of the [British] media's leading right-wing voices". 

She added: “And THIS is one of the many reasons why no one takes @bbcquestiontime seriously.”

Adam Bienkov, political editor for Byline Times, said: “An interesting choice, on 'anti-extremism' week, to invite a columnist who wrote a book entitled 'Londonistan', and who was approvingly quoted in Anders Bering Breivik's manifesto.”

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Two of Phillips’ Daily Mail columns were cited in the Norwegian neo-Nazi terrorist’s manifesto before he killed 77 people in 2011.

Professor Paul Bernal, meanwhile, added: “Fascinating to invite an extremist on. Are the BBC trolling Gove?”

Communities Secretary Michael Gove unveiled the UK Government’s new definition of extremism today, which some have called “divisive”.

Question Time is available on BBC iPlayer from 8pm and after the 10 o’clock news on BBC One.