BBC QT viewers switch off as Fiona Bruce accused of 'constantly interrupting' leaders

Fiona Bruce

BBC QT viewers switch off as Fiona Bruce accused of 'constantly interrupting' leaders

Oliver Trapnell

By Oliver Trapnell

Published: 20/06/2024

- 22:02

Before beginning the Q&A, Bruce said that her job would be to ‘keep you to the point’

Fiona Bruce has been accused of “interrupting” party leaders on a special edition of BBC Question Time.

Rishi Sunak, Sir Keir Starmer, Sir Ed Davey and John Swinney appeared on the BBC show being held in York.

Addressing viewers at home and the audience, the BBC presenter explained the rules for the show would mean that no leader would be interrupted.

She explained: “No desk for the usual panel tonight, just the four leaders of Great Britain’s main parties, one after another, who will stand here and answer questions from our audience which as always reflects the range of political sentiment across the whole country.

Fiona BruceBBC QT viewers switch off as Fiona Bruce accused of 'constantly interrupting' leadersBBC

“Each leader has the same amount of time, just under half an hour, to respond to whatever the people here want to ask them.

“First up is the Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey, then the leader of the Scottish National Party John Swinney. Then it’s Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer and finally, the Conservative leader and Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak.”

As she welcomed Ed Davey she continued: “Just to say that our rules here are pretty simple, for every leader they are the same.

“You won’t get interrupted if you keep your answers reasonably brief and you actually answer the question.

“My job here is to keep you to the point.”

Fiona Bruce

Bruce said that her job would be to ‘keep you to the point’


However, Bruce appeared to interject into Ed Davey’s first answer within just a minute of him talking.

One social media user said: “Fiona Bruce, introducing Ed Davey, says ‘You won’t be interrupted’ then proceeds to interrupt him throughout his attempts to answer questions. She’s the worst host imaginable.”

Another user said: “Fiona Bruce needs to pipe down.”

A third user wrote: “I've tried to watch tonight. However, after 5 minutes, listening to Fiona Bruce interrupt constantly. I've switched over.”

Fiona Bruce appeared to interrupt every leader\u200b

Fiona Bruce appeared to interrupt every leader


One more user wrote: “Can someone please stop Fiona Bruce interrupting with inane questions every few minutes when we're trying to listen to the answers?”

Another wrote: “Fiona Bruce said, if you keep the answers short you won't be interrupted.

John Swinney gets 2 words out and is interrupted by Fiona Bruce. Unbelievable.”

A sixth person said: “I wish Fiona Bruce would quit interrupting Keir Starmer.

“I am trying to hear what he's saying, but she keeps talking over him.

“He's giving carefully thought-out answers to good questions I care about, and she's not letting him finish. I want details not bites.”

However, other users thought Bruce was doing a great job.

One user said: “Good to see Fiona Bruce taking Keir Starmer to task about his evasive answers.”

Another said: “Fiona Bruce holding Keir Starmer to his previous claims about Corbyn being a good prime minister. She has grown into the job.”

A third wrote: “Fiona Bruce is so good. Doing a much better job than Mishal Husain or Julie Etchingham.”

One more said: “This BBC Question Time with the leaders is my favourite format of the debates. Talking to the people that matter.

“Fiona Bruce and the production team are doing a grand job. I’m also enjoying Fiona giving good context at relevant points for audience members to follow.”

Later on in the show, the audience appeared to also disrespect the rules laid out by Bruce as they shouted “shame” at Rishi Sunak when asked about the ECHR.

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