Fiona Bruce 'deeply sorry' for Johnson comment amid calls for her to be axed from charity



Fiona Bruce is "deeply sorry" for the comments she made on last night's episode of Question Time.

The BBC presenter faced calls to be removed from her position as an ambassador for a domestic abuse charity, following the Question Time host seemingly playing down Stanley Johnson's history of violence against women.

Bruce received the support of BBC bosses earlier today, as a spokesperson issued a statement saying the star 'was not expressing any personal opinion' during last night's instalment of Question Time - sparking a huge backlash online.

Refuge, the charity Bruce is a long-standing ambassador of, have now issued a statement regarding Bruce seemingly trivialising violence against women as a guest on the panel show described Boris Johnson's dad as a 'wife beater'.

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BBC bosses are backing the Question Time host ( BBC)

The charity said: “We have spoken to Fiona today, and she is appalled that any of her words have been understood as her minimising domestic violence. We know she is deeply upset that this has been triggering for survivors.”

It added: “Fiona is deeply sorry that last night’s programme has distressed survivors of domestic abuse. Refuge stands by her and all survivors today.

“We continue to be appreciative of all the work Fiona does on behalf of Refuge and recognise the immense contribution she has made to our work to end domestic abuse and challenge violence against women and girls.”

Journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown described Johnson as a wife beater on last night's edition of Question Time, to which Bruce replied: "Stanley Johnson’s wife spoke to a journalist, Tom Bower, and she said Stanley Johnson had broken her nose and she had ended up in hospital as a result.

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The BBC also issued a statement regarding the matter ( Twitter)

"Stanley Johnson has not commented publicly on that. Friends of his have said it did happen, it was a one off."

Bruce's comment promoted MP Kate Osborne to tweet: " #InternationalWomensDay this week and #bbcqt Fiona Bruce trivializes violence against women: Stanley Johnsons friends say “it was a one off” that he broke his wife’s nose Disgraceful."

The BBC's statement earlier today reads: "Following comments about an exchange referencing domestic abuse on Question Time, the BBC says Domestic abuse is abhorrent, and we would never wish to suggest otherwise.

"When serious allegations are made on air against people or organisations, it is the job of BBC presenters to ensure that the context of those allegations – and any right of reply from the person or organisation – is given to the audience, and this is what Fiona Bruce was doing last night.

"She was not expressing any personal opinion about the situation."

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