Kaye Adams defends Fiona Bruce amid backlash over Stanley Johnson
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Kaye Adams was horrified over the memes poking fun at Fiona Bruce after she was accused of “minimising” domestic abuse in a discussion about Stanley Johnson on BBC Question Time. Fiona had insisted that she was obligated to “legally contextualise” the question about Mr Johnson and that she was not expressing a personal opinion or minimising abuse.
However, that didn’t stop the memes from pouring in mocking her – and Kaye raged that the public response was “crass”.
She reposted one meme with the Question Time host’s face on it along with the words: “Just for balance, I might add that [serial killer] Fred West was a very reasonably priced builder.”
Kaye agonised to her 90,800 followers: “This is such a low blow. I have been in Fiona’s position when someone says in your ear that you must make an instant legal correction and sometimes the words don’t come out right.
“To use that to make a crass joke suggesting she disrespects #WomensRights is reprehensible.”
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Fiona has also had the public support of Piers Morgan after the episode, who raged that Refuge’s treatment of her was “shameful”.
The 57-year-old exclaimed: “What a shameful cowardly way to treat someone who did so much to promote your charity.
“Fiona Bruce is a thoroughly decent woman who deserves more than being tossed to the virtue-signalling wolves over something she was directed to say in the heat of live TV.”
Fiona had made her now highly controversial remarks during a heated discussion on Question Time, in which Yasmin Alibhai-Brown had described Stanley Johnson – the father of ex-PM Boris – as a “wife-beater… on record”.
Stanley’s ex-wife – the late artist Charlotte Wahl – had previously told Boris Johnson’s biographer, Tom Bower, that her former husband had broken her nose and she had ended up in hospital as a result.
Fiona interjected: “I’m not disputing what you’re saying”, and added: “Stanley Johnson has not commented on that.”
She continued: “Friends of his have said it did happen, it was a one-off”, only for Yasmin to insist: “Yes, but it did happen.”
Following the comments, Fiona was accused of “trivialising” domestic violence and, amid the storm, had to make the tough decision to step down from her role as domestic violence charity Refuge’s ambassador.
Some of Kaye’s followers joined the debate, with @LeighSweeney77 arguing: “I get your point of view Kaye, but she could’ve said something like ‘allegedly’ or similar… to say ‘It was only the once’ is NEVER ok. Come on!”
Another Twitter user exclaimed: “Her situation was akin to being both a Lung Cancer Charity spokesperson and Tobacco company spokesperson at the same time.”
Then a third added: “What’s reprehensible is anyone in the broadcast media defending a wife beater… you are in a position to cast a light on domestic abuse, not jump to the defence of someone who broke his wife’s nose.”
Yet @AllyFothers disagreed, exclaiming: “I watched this episode and what she said was factual rather than saying she endorsed domestic violence. I think she was hung out to dry on this one which was not fair.”
@RichardHingsto1 chimed in: “I really don’t accept that she did anything wrong. She was giving context to an allegation that was made. She didn’t diminish anything.”
@SueJen67 agreed: “Does anyone really believe she is pro domestic violence? Come ON people!!”
Fiona has made a statement saying that her comments had been “mischaracterised” and that she had received troll attacks in the aftermath of them.
Stepping down from the charity after 25 years, she added: “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.”
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