The National:

QUESTION Time presenter Fiona Bruce has been called out for making reference to a non-existent government on Thursday night’s show.

As ever, the BBC’s flagship politics debate show couldn’t pass without controversy and this time it came as Bruce asked about the “Jeremy Corbyn government”.

It’s an odd turn of phrase considering Corbyn was never prime minister and therefore never in fact had the opportunity to form the government Bruce referenced. But why pass up an opportunity to mention one of the British media's favourite stooges?

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Bruce's unnecessary intervention came during a discussion on whether “everyone should have the right to express their opinion even if others find it unpalatable”.

Among those to appear on the show was shadow foreign secretary David Lammy, who said he everyone wants a society “where people are free to speak, they are free to offend and that means sometimes on issues of religion, faith, sexuality, a whole raft of areas, people sometimes will offend and we’ve got to defend the freedom to speak”.

He added: “What we’re seeing in politics at the moment is a nastiness. It’s a cruelty. It’s people in public office spreading conspiracy.”

Bruce interjected at this point to ask Lammy: “Are you including the Corbyn government in that?”

Lammy carried on with his answer to say you “can see it on the extreme left and you can certainly see it on the right and I worry about what’s happening to the Conservative Party”.

The senior Labour figure didn’t bother picking up on what Bruce said – except to tacitly call Corbyn "extreme left" – but the people of Twitter/X were quick to point it out.

“Could you (BBC) please ask Fiona Bruce to tell us about the state of the nation under the Corbyn government? I seem to have a period of time missing from my life,” said one user.

Another added: “When was there a Corbyn government Fiona Bruce?”

A third meanwhile described the mistake as “embarrassing” while another was left confused at how the host was “harking back to the days we had a Corbyn government”.