Fiona Bruce has been “hung out to dry” by BBC bosses after she was accused of trivialising domestic abuse during a discussion about Boris Johnson’s father, Stanley, on Question Time last week.

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That is according to friends of the presenter and long-time women’s rights campaigner, who told The Telegraph that BBC producers had provided her with lines to defend the corporation from potentially defamatory allegations should the topic of domestic violence come up on the show.

The paper reported that Bruce is “devastated” by the online reaction to her comments and has quit her role as an ambassador for the domestic violence charity Refuge. Her allies have called upon the BBC to “better support its talent”.

What was said?

In a debate on Thursday’s Question Time about reports that the former prime minister had put his father, Stanley Johnson, forward for a knighthood, journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown said the 82-year-old’s alleged history of violence was “on record” and that he was a “wife beater”.

At this point Bruce, the Question Time host, interjected saying: “I’m not disputing what you’re saying, but just so everyone knows what this is referring to, Stanley Johnson’s wife spoke to a journalist, Tom Bower, and she said that Stanley Johnson had broken her nose and that she’d ended up in hospital as a result.

“Stanley Johnson has not commented publicly on that. Friends of his have said it did happen but it was a one-off.”

It was this reference to it being a “one-off” that appears to have created the uproar.

What has the reaction been?

While the presenter of the BBC show has “faced a social media backlash”, said the Independent, she has been backed by a number of high-profile figures.

This includes Alibhai-Brown, whose initial comments sparked the outcry. Writing for i news, she said Bruce, who “has been championing the rights of victimised females for over 25 years… doesn’t deserve this”.

Saying she understood why she had interjected, Alibhai-Brown said Bruce “was legally obliged to put out that clarification” and “did what she had to do”.

Speaking on Tuesday’s edition of Good Morning Britain, presenters Susanna Reid and Ed Balls described the row as “outrageous”, said …read more

Source:: The Week – All news


Fiona Bruce: has Question Time host been ‘hung out to dry’?

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