Question Time host Fiona Bruce has been praised for laying down the law by cutting off a heckling audience member, winning her a round of applause from Boris Johnson.
The veteran presenter put the young man in his place by declaring ‘I’m in charge!’ after telling him to be quiet as the programme ‘is not just for you’ and to allow others to question the Prime Minister.
Social media users have heralded her as showing more leadership than politicians have for the last three years, and even said she should run for prime minister.
The special edition of the programme, which also featured Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon and Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson was broadcast this evening from Sheffield, South Yorkshire.
Fiona Bruce won a round of applause for telling the audience member to be quiet as the programme is ‘not just for you’ and other people were waiting to ask questions’
Speaking on the debate, Fiona told the individual: ‘This is not just for you this whole session. No, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. But you’re going to have to stop there otherwise it is just not fair on everyone else who has got their hands up.
‘It just becomes an evening just for you and that’s not right. I think you have got as much of an answer as you are going to get. Can we hear…’
The presenter then raised her voice and said: ‘Hang on a minute! Hang on a minute! I am in charge of this thing!’
Her response won praise from the audience, the prime minister, and online.
Social media users have trumpeted her decisive action as showing more leadership than politicians in the last three years, and said she was like presenter Bruce Forsyth.
Her decisive action against the heckler on the debate, who was interrupting Boris Johnson, won her praise on social media as she was heralded as showing ‘more leadership than we’ve seen in the UK in the last three years’
One individual tweeted: ‘Fiona Bruce for Prime Minister’.
A second said: ‘Fiona Bruce was great at pointing out the candidates’ b******t and gaining control of the audience “Hang on a minute, I’m in charge of this thing”, Hah, brilliant!’
A third said: ‘”Hang on here! I’m in charge of this thing.” Fiona Bruce showing more leadership than we’ve seen in the UK in the last three years.’
And a fourth added: ‘I’m in charge… well said Fiona Bruce.’
One even said she was better than ITV presenter Julie Etchingham as a ‘moderator’, who fronted the first leaders debate between Jeremy Corbyn and Boris Johnson.
The prime minister was the last politician to speak on the special edition of the programme. Jeremy Corbyn began the debate, and was told he threatened the country with ‘reckless socialism’.
SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon followed and then Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson also appeared, before the prime minister came on last.
The audience member was heckling the Prime Minister for not clearly answering his question on why Mr Johnson had decided not to release the report into Russian interference in UK elections.
At the start of the debate Jeremy Corbyn pledged to adopt a ‘neutral stance’ in another EU referendum under Labour as he came under fire from voters during a televised grilling.
The Labour leader was questioned over fears for businesses, anti-Semitism, misogyny, freedom of speech and Scottish independence during a special episode of BBC’s Question Time on Friday.
As they try to tip the balance in the campaign for the December 12 General Election, each leader was being quizzed for half-an-hour during the show hosted by Fiona Bruce in Sheffield.
Mr Corbyn went first and faced a barrage of tough questioning and groans.
He made his clearest comment to date over how he would act in another referendum, which Labour plans to hold between a new deal and the option to Remain within six months of taking power.
Having been asked how anyone could vote Labour without knowing what outcome he would campaign for, Mr Corbyn said that he would start by negotiating a ‘credible’ Leave deal before he was interrupted by laughing.
Boris Johnson fended off questions about why he hadn’t released the report on Russia during the debate in Sheffield, South Yorkshire
Boris Johnson pictured on the Question Time leaders’ debate that was broadcast this evening
‘My role and the role of our government will be to ensure that that referendum is held in a fair atmosphere and we will abide by the result of it,’ he continued.
‘And I will adopt, as prime minister, if I am at the time, a neutral stance so that I can credibly carry out the results of that to bring communities and country together rather than continuing an endless debate about the EU and Brexit.’
Ms Bruce pressed Mr Corbyn on whether he would not pick a side during another referendum, as she brought his half-hour to a close.
‘Yes,’ he replied. ‘First heard here on Question Time.’
Mr Corbyn, who plans to re-nationalise key utilities and increase corporation tax, had been quickly forced to go on the defensive when he was asked first if ‘businesses should be frightened of an incoming Labour government’.
He argued ‘they should not be frightened’, saying that only the ‘biggest businesses will be asked to pay a little bit more’ in corporation tax, but that that level would be lower than 2010’s.
Jeremy Corbyn was the first politician to speak on BBC Question Time, and was followed by Nicola Sturgeon
Another angry member of the audience said that ‘freedom would be completely eroded’ if Mr Corbyn got the keys to Number 10.
‘I have spent my life getting into hot water for defending people because I believed their human rights should not be violated and that’s the kind of government that I intend to lead,’ he replied.
He was also challenged by an audience member on sexism and anti-Semitism faced by Labour MPs – in particular Ruth Smeeth, who is Jewish – by an audience member who said he does not ‘buy this nice old grandpa’ image.
‘I simply say to you that bad behaviour, misogynism, racism in any form is absolutely not acceptable in any form whatsoever in my party or in society,’ Mr Corbyn said.
SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon came next, and she cast doubt on Mr Corbyn’s stance of not allowing another independence referendum in the early years of an administration under his leadership.
She suggested he was not ‘going to walk away from the chance to end austerity’, and added: ‘I’m not sure he’s going to compromise the chance to have a Labour government for that issue.’
Another audience member challenged Corbyn over his record on anti-Semitism. He said that the actions of the Labour leader have ‘terrified’ him
Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson was challenged over her role in austerity in coalition with the Tories and accused of treating voters as ‘stupid’ over her plans to revoke Article 50 and cancel Brexit without another referendum.
Ms Swinson said: ‘I don’t think you can accuse us of not being upfront about wanting to stop Brexit. We’ve been crystal clear about that from the very beginning.
‘Not for one second do I think that means that you or anybody like you is stupid. I think it means we disagree.’
The debate was to be closed by Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson.