Susanna Reid defends Fiona Bruce over Refuge resignation

Bruce was accused of trivialising domestic assault on Question Time

Watch below: Susanna Reid defends Fiona Bruce over Stanley Johnson comments.

Susanna Reid defended Fiona Bruce after the Question Time presenter resigned from her ambassador role at domestic abuse charity Refuge, saying "it’s outrageous that she is being held personally accountable."

Bruce was accused by many of trivialising domestic abuse on last week's edition of Question Time during a discussion about Stanley Johnson in which she said "Stanley Johnson has not commented publicly on that.

"Friends of his have said it did happen, it was a one-off."

Read more: Fiona Bruce ‘hung out to dry’ by BBC over comments about Stanley Johnson

Discussing the incident with her co-host Ed Balls on Good Morning Britain, Reid said: "Yasmin, as you saw in that clip, then pointed out the allegation that was made about Stanley Johnson.

"It was incumbent on Fiona Bruce, as the host of that panel, to – as she says – contextualise it."

Susanna Reid called the treatment of Fiona Bruce 'outrageous'. (ITV/BBC)
Susanna Reid called the treatment of Fiona Bruce 'outrageous'. (ITV/BBC)

Balls also defended Bruce's comment: "Can I just say Susanna, I’ve actually seen this in the last year, which I’ve never experienced before, when you do that, which is put the other side, which is our responsibility when we’re doing the roles we’re playing, you get these pile-ons on social media where people assume that if we say that, that’s what we believe.

"That’s what happened to Fiona Bruce. She wasn’t saying that she believed that, she was saying that’s what the other side said."

Read more: Labour MP accuses Fiona Bruce of 'trivialising' Stanley Johnson 'wife-beater' claims

Reid reiterated her defence of Bruce: "She very clearly says in that clip that she is contextualising it and giving the right of reply.

"She wasn’t arguing with Yasmin Alibhai-Brown. I think it’s outrageous that she is being held personally accountable."

Question Time will no longer have a studio audience from Thursday. (BBC)
Fiona Bruce was defended by Susanna Reid for how she handled a domestic abuse debate on Question Time. (BBC)

Following the broadcast of Question Time in which she was heavily criticised, Bruce announced she was stepping back from her role at domestic abuse charity Refuge.

In a statement, she said: "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 added: "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 will continue to host Question Time.

Watch: Fiona Bruce to step back from charity role