By Sarah Newton-John • 14 March 2023 • 7:58
Fiona Bruce/Shutterstock Images
In a statement, Bruce said she was sorry that survivors of domestic abuse had been distressed by her comments, which she said she had been legally obliged to make, and said they had been “mischaracterised” on social media.
Bruce said: “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. 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.
“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.”
The row arose after a discussion about Johnson, the father of the former prime minister Boris Johnson, in Thursday’s programme during which the panellist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown said Stanley Johnson “was a wife-beater … on record”.
She was interrupted by Bruce, who said “I’m not disputing what you’re saying” but said that while Johnson’s wife had said he had broken her nose and she had ended up in hospital as a result, “Stanley Johnson has not commented on that. Friends of his have said it did happen, it was a one-off.”
“Yes, but it did happen,” Alibhai-Brown replied.
Refuge said it had accepted Bruce’s decision, thanking her “for her considerable contribution over many years to Refuge and the wider domestic abuse agenda”.
The BBC’s statement ran—“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 … She was not expressing any personal opinion about the situation.”
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.
Share this story
Subscribe to our Euro Weekly News alerts to get the latest stories into your inbox!
By signing up, you will create a Euro Weekly News account if you donâ€™t already have one. Review our
Download our media pack in either English or Spanish.