Steerpike

Laura Kuenssberg gets Corbynistas in a spin over reshuffle scoop

Laura Kuenssberg gets Corbynistas in a spin over reshuffle scoop
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In recent months brains at the BBC have undertaken a number of steps to tackle 'anti-Corbyn bias' head on at the corporation. After the Beeb's former political editor Nick Robinson wrote to colleagues warning them against anti-Corbyn bias in the political coverage, the message was then picked up by the comedy department. Barry Humphries revealed this week that he was told he could not do a planned Corbyn joke on a BBC comedy show -- unless he also did one about David Cameron.

Alas for all their efforts, it just isn't enough to keep the angry Corbynistas at bay. Laura Kuenssberg, the BBC's political editor, has found herself in the firing line this morning after a blog -- which has now been deleted -- on the BBC Academy site went through the mechanics of how she had arranged her reshuffle scoop in which Stephen Doughty resigned from Corbyn's Shadow Cabinet live on Daily Politics just before PMQs. Although the post was meant as a lesson in how to secure a political scoop, Corbynistas think that the information in the blog -- written by a show producer -- suggests she crossed the line and was conspiring to make Jeremy Corbyn look bad:

'Considering it a long shot we carried on the usual work of building the show, and continued speaking to Labour MPs who were confirming reports of a string of shadow ministers considering their positions. Within the hour we heard that Laura had sealed the deal: the shadow foreign minister Stephen Doughty would resign live in the studio.'

While one could argue that it is part of Kuenssberg's job to get guests with topical news lines on the show, a number of Corbyn supporters have now accused her of being a Tory stooge:

https://twitter.com/ChrisBulow/status/685383383925559296

https://twitter.com/AbiWhitlock/status/685383207756369920

https://twitter.com/renebach/status/685383031390081025

However, Doughty has since responded that the very reason he chose to say he was resigning on the BBC was that he could trust them not to spin the news for their own agenda:

https://twitter.com/SDoughtyMP/status/685282088069763072

https://twitter.com/SDoughtyMP/status/685282445445480448

https://twitter.com/SDoughtyMP/status/685283107570905088

https://twitter.com/SDoughtyMP/status/685283537193431040

While there is now a petition calling for Kuenssberg's removal from her position, Mr S suspects that the Corbynistas ought not be so hard on her for doing her job. After all, who was it that Jeremy Corbyn's right hand man Seumas Milne trusted enough in his first few weeks to turn to for advice on how to do his job? Only Kuenssberg -- who spent an hour talking to him, before giving him this gem of advice: 'If you want to communicate with a nation you have to actually do it. You can't just call everybody bastards.'

If only Corbyn's more vocal supporters could take note.

Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from London and beyond. Email tips to steerpike@spectator.co.uk.

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