• BBC One’s political debate programme, Question Time, is being hosted from Newcastle on Thursday, June 27th.

    David Dimbleby chairs the programme which sees Universities and Science Minister David Willetts MP; Shadow Health Minister Liz Kendall MP; Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats Simon Hughes MP; comedian and campaigner Mark Steel, and former Director of the Centre for Policy Studies Jill Kirby, face questions from the audience.

    To apply for a seat in the audience you can register your question at www.bbc.co.uk/questiontime

  • In last night’s edition of Question Time, Ed Davey MP, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change called for a review on drugs laws.

    He said: “We need to look at the evidence. I think there is some evidence that drug policy is working on the rehabilitation side. As Russell said if we can treat people with humanity when they’ve got an addiction and try to help them get off that addiction that can make a real difference to that person’s life and the wider society.

    “I’m not convinced yet that we’ve won the war on drugs by any means there are still thousands of people dieing from drugs, they scar communities, there are drug barons who are making billions from this.

    “I think we do need to review the drug laws, I think we need to look at the evidence. Nick Clegg’s asked our ministerial colleague Jeremy Brown to look at the experience in Portugal, in Amsterdam, in some US, parts of the United States, in the Czech Republic and other places where they’ve changed some of the laws and let’s look at the evidence. If changing the law leads to a positive effect for society then we should consider that.”

    His comments followed on from Russell Brand’s opinion on whether drugs laws are effective: “I don’t think drug laws are working because people take drugs all the time.  People will take drugs because of social, psychological and emotional reasons… For me it’s not about the drug laws it’s about treating people with addiction issues in a compassionate and empathetic way.

    “As a recovering drug addict myself, when I was using drugs I didn’t care if drugs were illegal. If I need drugs because I’m in pain inside, I’m taking drugs and I know this to be true of across drug addicts all over our country. If you criminalise them and marginalise them, you place an industry in the hands of criminals and you make it difficult and shaming for them to get treatment. That is the wrong way to handle the situation. We have to reach out to people compassionately - then we have a chance of achieving a solution.”

    Replying to David Dimbley’s question, would you like decriminalisation of all drugs, Brand said: “I don’t like to get drawn on that because I am dealing with this in a very direct way in that people who are suffering from drugs problems don’t care about the law the care about getting the correct treatment which I believe is abstinence- based treatment.”

    David Dimbleby presented Question Time from London on Thursday 20th June. On the panel were Ed Davey MP, secretary of state for energy and climate change; Dame Tessa Jowell MP, Labour's former minister for the Olympics; Boris Johnson, the Conservative mayor of London; comedian Russell Brand; and Daily Mail columnist Melanie Phillips

    For further information please contact Louise Plank on 020 8995 3936 or lou@plankpr.com

  • BBC One’s political debate programme, Question Time, is being hosted from London’s City Hall on Thursday, June 20th with comedian Russell Brand joining London’s Mayor Boris Johnson on the panel.

    David Dimbleby chairs the programme from the home of the Greater London Authority which also sees the Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey; Labour MP for Dulwich and West Norwood Tessa Jowell, and journalist and author Melanie Phillips join the panel facing questions from the audience.

    The programme transmits on Thursday evening on BBC One at 10.35pm and will be available on BBC iPlayer after transmission. Follow the debate on Twitter via #bbcqt and @bbcQuestionTime.

    To apply for a seat in the audience you can register your question at www.bbc.co.uk/questiontime

    For further information please contact Louise Plank on 020 8995 3936 or lou@plankpr.com

  • Barry and June Steenkamp have given their only in depth TV interview in Channel 5’s Why Did Oscar Pistorius Kill Our Daughter?which airs tonight, Monday 3rd June at 9pm.

    Talking exclusively Reeva’s parents, speak of their need for answers to the mystery surrounding the killing of their daughter.

    June Steenkamp said, “Why? Why did he shoot her? I want to know why he shot her. Because she must have been so afraid in the toilet, and somebody’s firing [a] gun, bullets through the door. And  how terrified and already one bullet had hit her so she must have been in severe pain also, and I just feel why couldn’t I have warned her, or known something about this person - that they could be capable of doing something like that. Because he shot her till she was dead. Shot her till she was dead and I want to know what happened. Why?

    “We feel bad that we couldn’t protect her. Her whole life we protected her. From the day she was born we protected her, but this we could not protect her from. Why couldn’t we protect her from this? How did she end up with a person like this? Who could shoot her; I want to know. We don’t know what happened. There is only one person who knows what happened.”

    In the world exclusive interview, produced by Mentorn Media for Channel 5, Reeva’s parents reveal that their daughter told them of her arguments with Oscar Pistorius and how they had feared for her safety.

    Recalling a phone call from Reeva who was travelling in a car that Oscar was driving at speed, June Steenkamp says: “ She was afraid, she was so afraid. She phoned me and she said, ‘Mummy I’m in the car with Oscar and he’s driving like a lunatic’. So I said will you just give him the phone. She gave the phone to Oscar straight away and I said hello. And he said ‘Mrs Steenkamp.’ I said, listen, if you hurt my baby in any way I will have you wiped out. I didn’t mean murder him, I’m just saying, that’s what I said. And I know the friend that was in the car was a friend of Reeva and a friend of Oscar and he told me afterwards that Oscar slowed down immediately.

    “A week or so later she phoned me, we chatted about this and that, little girl things. I said how’s it going with Oscar?  She said that ‘We’ve been fighting; we’ve been fighting a lot.’ She didn’t elaborate about what they’d been fighting about. She said, ‘We are fighting a lot.’ That’s what she said.

    “I didn’t feel alarmed about that because men and women do fight don’t they, it’s part of a relationship but this is a very early relationship to be fighting.

    She continued, “We had a conversation about how the relationship was going. And she said she had made up her mind, she’s going to give everything to the relationship.”

    Reeva’s school friend Gwyn Guscott also tells the programme that she was aware of an argument that took between the couple that Reeva took two days too cool down from.

    She said, “I know of one argument that she had with Oscar. I don’t know who started the argument but I do recall her saying to me that, ‘Gwyn, you know how I am, I’m not a person that likes arguments so I walk away.’ , ‘So I left and I took two days to cool off and just think about what had happened and then I tried to patch things up.’”

    The documentary goes on to reveal that Reeva had told her cousin, Kim Martinthat she had spent Christmas and New Year alone just months before her murder, whilst Oscar had gone out with friends.

    Kim speaks about meeting with the couple: “It looked like a new relationship, you know. I did ask her when he left the table to go and answer his phone, are you in love? And she didn’t say yes. She smiled, she pulled her shoulders up and said ‘Ah, we’ll chat.’ And that’s basically what she said. So I got the impression that, she looked happy but that there was something, I don’t know what it was. She said she’d speak to me about it. But she never got time to speak to me about it.”

    Reeva’s ex-boyfriend Warren Lahoud also speaks to the documentary team. Barry Steenkamp said of Warren’s relationship with his daughter, “I was very upset when I heard that they had broken up, yes. I was very upset because I couldn’t understand.

    I only wish to God that they were still together.”

    Reeva’s parents also reveal personal photographs and letters not seen before. Amongst them a chilling portend painted by Reeva as a teenager - a painting depicting a gunman, an angel and a stairway to heaven which her parents described as a “premonition.”

    June Steenkamp said, “Reeva painted these pictures when she was 14, they’ve been in the house for a long time now, but we never really realised what they were about. Here is a man standing in a field, next to a tree, and he is holding a gun. And then on the other side… is what could be Reeva wearing angel wings, and here is the ladder going up to heaven. And we never really, really understood the painting but it almost seems like a premonition…

    “And it is, if you look at it, it’s a premonition of what happened to her. And she’s petrified. She’s afraid. She’s showing horror and she’s afraid. She’s terrified. Her hands are over her mouth, and she’s terrified.

    “If you look at it now it’s clear as anything that this is a premonition.”

    Talking about her modelling Reeva’s father expressed a desire for her to stick with a career in law, which she began studying at university. He said, “Me as a father, I would have preferred her to carry on with the law. I don’t know [why], it was just a gut feeling.”

    He emotionally went on to say, “I used to always speak to her on the phone and ask her ‘When are you coming back to Port Elizabeth my love? When? Because I wanted her to finish her law and to go into that side of it. Nothing wrong with modelling and all that but I was hoping that she would finish her law and most probably things would have worked the other way. I don’t know.”

    The documentary shows the emotional scene as friends and family came together to scatter Reeva’s ashes in the waters of Nelson Mandela Bay.

    He father said, “Her grandfather’s ashes were spread out into the sea and I think we all think that a wonderful place to spread your ashes would be the sea because it would go, be all over the place.”

    Her mother added, “She loved swimming, she loved the beach. I think that she would like that. I think that she would be happy with her ashes going there.

    “Saying goodbye to Reeva is the end. Setting her ashes free, the doves will fly and she will fly. That will be her resting place.”

    On June 4th 2013, Paralympic sprint champion Oscar Pistorius will return to court, charged with the premeditated murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. He pleads not guilty.

    Why Did Oscar Pistorius Kill Our Daughter was commissioned by Ben Frow, Director of Programmes Channel 5. Steve Anderson was the Executive producer for Mentorn Media.

    Why Did Oscar Pistorius Kill Our Daughter? airs on Channel 5 at 9pm on Monday 3rd June.

    For more information please contact Louise Plank on 07801 321 965 or lou@plankpr.com