The BBC has been hit with more than 800 complaints regarding Fiona Bruce’s comments on Question Time about Stanley Johnson’s alleged domestic abuse.
Bruce, 58, partook in a discussion surrounding an alleged incident of domestic abuse, over Johnson’s ex-wife previously claiming that he broke her nose.
Stepping in to clarify, Bruce said: ‘Stanley Johnson has not commented publicly on that. Friends of his have said it did happen, it was a one-off.’
The comments sparked intense backlash on social media, and she later said she was ‘deeply sorry’ before announcing that she had decided to step down from her role as an ambassador of the charity Refuge.
The broadcaster has now revealed 854 complaints were made regarding ‘the context Fiona Bruce gave during a discussion concerning domestic violence allegations against Stanley Johnson’.
This comes after Bruce said in a statement declaring her resignation from her role at Refuge: ‘Last week on Question Time, I was required to legally contextualise a question about Stanley Johnson.
‘Those words have been taken as an expression of my own opinions which they are absolutely not, and as a minimising of domestic abuse, which I would never do.’
She continued: ‘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, but I can apologise for the very real impact that I can see it has had.’
Bruce, 58, faced an onslaught on social media after she intervened when the father of former prime minister Boris Johnson was described as a ‘wife beater’.
Journalist and panel member Yasmin Alibhai-Brown had said the 82-year-old’s alleged history of violence was ‘on the record’.
Bruce then interrupted and told Alibhai-Brown and the audience: ‘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.’
She later apologised, with a statement from Refuge including: ‘Fiona is deeply sorry that last night’s programme has distressed survivors of domestic abuse.’
First appear at BBC hit with more than 800 complaints over Fiona Bruce’s Stanley Johnson comments