A CALL by the BBC's Question Time for anti-vaxxers to appear on the programme has been met with furious backlash on Twitter.

During last week's show from St Andrew's, presenter Fiona Bruce put out the appeal to people who had chosen not to be vaccinated to appear in the audience.

She told viewers: "I mentioned last week that we are looking for people to come and be part of our audience who are unvaccinated. We know that there's a relatively high proportion in London and there are many reasons why people have chosen not to get the vaccine. We want to explore some of those issues.

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"So if you are someone who made that decision not to get vaccinated we would very much like to hear from you. I think it is an important debate."

BBC Question Time has now tweeted a clip of Bruce's appeal to the unvaccinated with the programme saying it wanted to hear from people in this position to appear when the show is filmed from London on February 3.

It also tweeted a link about how to apply to be in the audience.

But the call has been met with an angry reaction with social media users asking the corporation why a group of people who promote misinformation should be given a BBC platform and others asking what risk assessment would be given to those in the audience and on the panel who had been vaccinated.

Sam Bright tweeted: "Putting anti-vaxxers on a 'debate' programme implicitly suggests they have a legitimate point of view - even if everyone else disagrees with them. You have a massive duty to properly frame the boundaries of acceptable public debate and you’re still massively failing."

Twitter user Andrew Macdonald wrote: "This makes little sense. Unless you are going to correct any anti vaccine comments with the facts and include a proportionate number of the vaccinated in the audience then this stunt should be reconsidered @BBCPolitics you are sinking lower and lower."

Another hit out: "This is dangerous nonsense. I can remember when the BBC would not have been so irresponsible, so populist or so overtly political. I knew two people who died from Covid and 10 others who have had it. Two of them had it twice."

Alan Lewis Chambers tweeted: "But . . . but . . . we spent so much time with the climate change deniers in the interests of BALANCE, so we thought it only fair to give anti-vaxxers their turn."

Robert Reed tweeted: "This is why Question Time is past its sell by date. How can people debate with Anti Vaxxers - there is no common ground, it just a conspiracy that is really causing the UK to slip behind much of the EU in vaccine take up (despite media and parliament cover up)."

Others pointed to the risks to other people in the audience from unvaccinated guests invited on.

Samantha Flander wrote: "So the panel, host and the rest of the audience will be exposed to unvaccinated people indoors, in a studio, for a couple of hours?"

Another pointed out: "What steps will you be taking to segregate these people from those who have no wish to be infected with a potentially deadly virus?"

Laura Thomason tweeted: "1) Are you planning a large indoor gathering of unvaccinated people and if so, where is the risk assessment?
"2) How will you ensure balance, ie that the programme doesn’t give undue weight to fringe views?"

A BBC spokesperson said: “There are still substantial numbers of the British public who are not vaccinated, especially in particular areas and communities. We think this is an interesting part of the debate which is worthy of discussion.

“Question Time always strives to discuss each side of every argument. This is about listening to, and understanding, our audience members. The BBC has always made the scientific consensus on vaccination very clear.”

On the matter of safety, they added: “The safety of our audience and panellists is paramount and nothing has changed in terms of our audience requirements.

“We ask all audience members to provide either proof of full vaccination, evidence of a negative LFT, or proof of recent recovery from Covid.

“The audience seating arrangements are socially distanced, we ensure there is good ventilation in our venues and we ask audience members to wear a mask when not speaking.”