Fiona Bruce quits Refuge ambassador role amid BBC Question Time controversy

The TV presenter Fiona Bruce has stood down from her role as ambassador for domestic abuse charity Refuge, which has criticised comments she made while hosting BBC Question Time last week.

During a discussion about Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s father Stanley, Bruce paraphrased quotes from his friends that an incident in which his wife was hospitalised “was a one off”.

The charity says that it’s position is “clear – domestic abuse is never a ‘one off’, it is a pattern of behaviour that an manifest in a number of ways, including but not limited to physical abuse. Domestic abuse is never acceptable”.

It said that following Bruce’s comments the charity had spoken to survivors who “told us how devastating this has been for them”.

“While we know the words were not Fiona’s own and were words she was legally obliged to read out, this does not lessen their impact and we cannot lose sight of that,” said Refuge in its statement.

“These words minimised the seriousness of domestic abuse and this has been retraumatising for survivors.

"Survivors of domestic abuse are, and will always be, Refuge’s priority. Our focus must remain on them. Every two minutes someone turns to Refuge for help and our priority is the women and their children who need us.”

It added that it has accepted Bruce’s resignation as an ambassador and thanked “her for her considerable contribution over many years to Refuge and the wider domestic abuse agenda”.

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