Fiona Bruce refers to Stanley Johnson domestic abuse as ‘one off’
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Despite receiving a backlash from Question Time viewers, the BBC stepped in to defend Fiona Bruce after she said Stanley Johnson breaking his wife’s nose was a “one-off”. The broadcaster claimed, “no impartiality rules were breached”. However, it has since been revealed Fiona has decided to step down as ambassador for the charity Refuge.
The Question Time’s controversial comment came after guest Yasmin Alibhai-Brown shared her thoughts on Stanley, branding him a “wife beater”.
To which Fiona claimed it “did happen” but “was a one-off”.
The Antiques Roadshow presenter has since issued an apology, explaining her comments had been “mischaracterised” by a social media storm.
“I have been a passionate advocate and campaigner for all survivors of domestic abuse, and have used my privileged position as a woman in the public eye to bring this issue to the fore, notably in my work for over 25 years with Refuge,” Fiona began.
“But following the events of last week, I have faced a social media storm, much of which mischaracterised what I said and took the form of personal abuse directed at me.
“The only people that matter in all this are the survivors, they are my priority.
“The last thing in the world that I would want is that this issue in any way creates a distraction from Refuge’s critical work on their behalf, and therefore I think the right thing to do is to step back from my role with Refuge.”
She added: “This has been a hard decision for me as I feel so strongly about promoting their work and advancing awareness of this issue. I will continue to be an active supporter, albeit from the sidelines for now.”
More to follow…
The BBC also stepped in to defend Fiona’s comment, explaining it was the presenter’s job to ensure the context of the allegations was given.
The broadcaster issued a statement, which read: “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,” the broadcaster added.
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Despite Fiona’s apology, fans are still left angered by her remark, with many pleading with the host to “step aside” from all her presenting roles.
Taking to Twitter, @WilsonJevelyn wrote: “Perhaps #FionaBruce could ‘step aside’ from all her media roles. That would be a good idea.”
@DoucheAmuse said: “@RefugeCharity Quick question time. Under what law was Fiona Bruce “legally” obligated to read out what she said?”
While @JoelTaylorhack went on to add: “Fiona Bruce: ‘I know survivors of domestic abuse have been distressed by what I was required to say on-air. For that, I am deeply sorry.
“‘I cannot change what I was required to say…’ Was she really ‘required’ to say Stanley Johnson only broke his wife’s nose once?” (sic)
“Astounded to discover that Fiona Bruce was a Refuge ambassador,” @GreatNorthMum fumed.
“Makes her horrendous comments even worse – she should have known better!”
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