Harriet Harman and John Prescott heap praise on Paris Lees in Question Time debut

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Paris Lees has received praise from across the political divide after becoming the first out transgender panellist to appear on Question Time.

The journalist and broadcaster, and PinkNews contributor, was alongside Labour MP Chris Bryant, Conservative MP Matthew Hancock, Liberal Democrat MP Jeremy Browne and the author Harriet Sergeant on Thursday’s night broadcast.

Question Time first began in 1979 and it’s understood that Thursday was the first time the BBC One programme had featured an openly transgender panellist – although although others (not out about their status) had preceded her.

A wide range of different people on Twitter widely considered Lees to have been the strongest panellist.

She movingly talked about her own experiences of previously being in prison when the subject of probation reform came up.

And she received praise from former deputy prime minister Lord Prescott.

Along with pop star Boy George.

And Coronation Street actor Antony Cotton.

Lee’s performance was also seen by many as an important moment for trans representation on mainstream media.

The editor of Attitude, Matthew Todd, tweeted it was something really to celebrate.

As a member of Trans Media Watch, other members of which gave a submission at the Leveson Inquiry, Lees last night criticised current attempts by several newspapers to avoid greater press regulation in the from of a Royal Charter.”The idea that this industry can regulation itself is like expecting a pack of wolves to regulate its own hunt,” Lees said.

Frequently drawing out cheers and applause from the audience, Lees said Labour leader Ed Miliband’s recent fight with the Daily Mail had given him “real oak in his penis” at PMQs.

Chris Bryant gave his response by saying, “Broadly speaking I agree with Paris”, before turning red.

In October, Paris Lees topped this year’s Independent on Sunday Pink List.

Along with being a columnist for GT and DIVA, she regularly writes articles for the mainstream press.

Earlier this year, she presented The Hate Debate, a show about prejudices for BBC Radio 1.

She has previously worked with the Gender Trust and Trans Media Watch, and currently works with All About Trans.