BBC ‘Question Time’ Host Fiona Bruce Steps Down From Domestic Violence Charity Following Stanley Johnson Comments

The BBC’s Question Time host has stepped down from her role with a leading domestic violence charity after being criticized for defending Boris Johnson’s father from accusations that he is a “wife beater.”

In one of a long line of controversies that has befallen the corporation over the past few days, Fiona Bruce clarified during Friday’s Question Time that the former Prime Minister’s father Stanley Johnson had “not commented publicly” on accusations that he had broken his wife’s nose, while stating that “friends of his have said it was a one off.” The comments came during a Question Time conversation about domestic violence.

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Bruce, who also presents the BBC News at Ten, was hit with a volley of criticism for trivializing domestic violence by stepping in to defend Johnson from one of the panellists’ accusations that he is a “wife beater,” and, while she said that her remarks had been “mischaracterized,” she made the decision today to leave her role as an ambassador with Refuge.

“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,” she said. “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.”

She said it had been a “hard decision” to step down from Refuge and she would “continue to be an active supporter, albeit from the sidelines.”

Bruce’s comments came as the BBC was dealing with the fallout from the Gary Lineker row along with other controversies pertaining to former Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries and David Attenborough.

Stanley Johnson has been in the news recently as his son Boris Johnson has reportedly asked he be given a knighthood.

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