Dragons' Den panellist Steven Bartlett has stepped in to defend Molly-Mae Hague, saying she had been unnecessarily "crucified".

The Love Island runner-up had gone viral after her remarks about poverty resurfaced from an appearance on the Diary of a CEO pod in December.

In the episode the 22-year-old seemed to suggest anyone could be a millionaire if they work hard enough as “everyone has the same 24 hours in a day”.

This had seen merciless criticism come in from all over social media, but Bartlett defended her on his Twitter page.

He posted: Molly Mae did an interview on my podcast, yesterday a soundbite from that interview went viral, she trended No.1 on Twitter, every newspaper covered it and MP's weighed in.

"I've had male guests say what she said. No one cared. But when Molly says it, she's crucified? Crazy."

How did Molly-Mae respond to the backlash?

In a statement to the Metro, Molly-Mae's representatives said: "Molly did a podcast interview in December about her own rise to success.

“If you listen to the full conversation and interview Molly was asked about how the nature of her potential grows and how she believes in herself. This part of the interview was discussing time efficiency relating to success.

"Molly refers to a quote which says 'We all have the same 24 hours in a day as Beyonce'. She was discussing her own experience and how she can resonate with this specific quote.

"Her opinion on if you want something enough you can work hard to achieve it is how she keeps determined with her own work to achieve more in her own life. Molly is not commenting on anyone else’s life or personal situation she can only speak of her own experience.

"She acknowledges that everyone is raised in different ways and from different backgrounds but her comments here are in reference to timing, hard work and determination in her own life. If you listen to this interview you can see the whole conversation was about her own personal circumstances, how she has grown up and this small clip in the conversation was talking about a quote that inspires her.

"Social media users have shared a short snippet from this interview with words such as 'if you are homeless buy a house' and 'if you are poor be poor' these are absolutely not Molly’s words, these are not Molly’s thoughts and this isn’t at all the meaning or thought behind that conversation."