A veteran’s speech on BBC Question Time last night has panellists lost for words as she described her experiences being deployed with the British military in Afghanistan in 2017 and 2018. But Fiona Bruce has received a backlash for “interrupting” the audience member. The BBC presenter had tried to offer the title of Nick Carter for viewers but was corrected afterwards.
The veteran said: “We saw Nick Carter making the rounds of the breakfast television.”
Fiona interjected: “Brigadier Nick Carter, yeah.”
But the audience member corrected her: “General Nick Carter making the rounds quibbling whether the Taliban were even the enemy.”
Social media users have branded the moment “patronising”.
One Twitter user wrote: “Shame Fiona Bruce tried to correct her mid-flow, with wrong information.”
Another added: “Really wrong of Fiona Bruce to interrupt this eloquent military woman speaking. Not only that she got it wrong. Completely unnecessary.”
A third person said: “Don’t tell a veteran what to call her commanding officer.”
It comes as the operation to evacuate the remaining British nationals and their local allies from Afghanistan is entering a “critical” phase, the head of the armed forces has warned.
“At the moment we are collaborating with the Taliban on the ground, who are providing security.
“They are making sure that the centre of Kabul is very calm at the moment and so far we have not had reports of people finding it difficult to get to the airport.”
The UK Government has come under intense pressure over the handling of the downfall of the Western-backed government and the subsequent evacuation of British nationals and local allies.
On Tuesday night, Boris Johnson announced a new settlement scheme which will allow up to 20,000 Afghan vulnerable refugees to seek sanctuary in the UK over the coming years, with 5,000 over the next 12 months.