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Do you think that this is enough of an apology from Fiona Bruce, for gaslighting Diane Abbott on the BBC’s Question Time on January 17?

Ms Bruce had joined Isobel Oakeshott, after Ms Abbott said Labour and the Conservatives were neck-and-neck in the polls, to claim that the latest poll showed Labour was behind. This was not true and Ms Bruce should have apologised.

I suggested yesterday that the programme would enjoy an upsurge of viewers for its first five minutes – who would switch off if they did not hear an apology in that time. The 20-second statement from Ms Bruce duly appeared midway through the show – ensuring that any viewers who did as I expected would not have a chance to hear it.

The official BBC statement stops short of an apology too.

Labour has made an official complaint, which includes other incidents reported about the Question Time recording in which Ms Abbott appeared.

It has been claimed by audience members that Ms Bruce and another BBC representative told jokes at Ms Abbott’s expense before the show was recorded, apparently to turn opinion against her. It is believed that this was recorded but the BBC is refusing to hand over the material.

And a sound technician said Ms Abbott’s microphone was turned down so she would find it harder to make herself heard.

So the Labour Party still has many reasons to complain.

I’ve already said I hope this goes to court. The BBC has been involved in too many rows like this and deserves a bloody nose.

As for Ms Abbott? She has come out of this smelling of roses:

If this unsavoury incident results in a little more support for the UK’s first black female MP – who receives more hate messages than all the country’s other politicians put together – then I’d say it did some good.

That’s in spite of the efforts of Ms Bruce, Ms Oakeshott and the BBC itself.

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