Comedian and 'Bake Off' presenter Sue Perkins has accused Fleet Street journalists of creating a "vicious ad hominem sideshow" by berating Jeremy Corbyn over his Remembrance Day bow at the Cenotaph.
The 46-year-old Cambridge graduate took to social media to vent in the aftermath of a newspaper frenzy over how deeply Corbyn bowed when laying a wreath on Sunday.
On Monday The Sun accused the Labour leader of a "snub on poppy day" and told the Labour leader to "bow his head in shame".
The paper sparked a backlash from thousands - with the unofficial team behind a bid to back him for Prime Minister in 2020 deriding it as "unacceptable" and one media pundit commenting: "Corbyn's mother was an Air Raid Warden and his father a member of the Home Guard. He does really not deserve those kinds of front pages."
Perkins added her opinions after re-tweeting one comment on Corbyn mocking the analysis of his bow and posting a second message herself lamenting real policy issues being sidelined.
She first voiced support for a comment made by broadcast producer David Tyler, re-publishing his post, which read: "Painful watching Corbyn's spine calculate the precise angle you get when you divide political pragmatism by principle."
Painful watching Corbyn's spine calculate the precise angle you get when you divide Political Pragmatism by Principle.— David Tyler (@DavidTylerPozz) November 9, 2015
Perkins then went on to call for the "vicious ad hominem sideshow" to be dropped and added to her 638,000 followers: "The sooner we can have a proper debate about the issues us voters care about."
The sooner we drop this vicious ad hominem sideshow, the sooner we can have a proper debate about the issues us voters care about...— Sue Perkins (@sueperkins) November 9, 2015
Her tweet prompted a wave of support, with one user pointing out that Corbyn, a former chair of the 'Stop the War' coalition, was "not willing to lie to become more popular".
Perkins replied, praising the Labour leader for his principled stance, but adding that he was "under intolerable scrutiny and that gets in the way of him debating his views".
@Shippygem I like the fact he's not willing to lie! But he is under intolerable scrutiny and that gets in the way of him debating his views.— Sue Perkins (@sueperkins) November 9, 2015
Responding to a request for comment on claims from one pundit that The Sun's jibe at Corbyn was "the most absurd front page I've seen in a very long time", a spokesperson defended the editorial decision by claiming that "Britain's heroic war dead deserved more respect".
The spokesperson told The Huffington Post UK: "The Sun front page is a reflection that many on social media, including Labour MPs Graham Jones and Simon Danczuk, thought Jeremy Corbyn's behaviour at the Cenotaph yesterday was unacceptable.
"Although there are plenty on social media who won't like The Sun front page, there are just as many on social media and further afield who feel that Britain's heroic war dead deserved more respect."
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But Perkins is not often shy of offering her opinions on political matters, having previously confronted the culture secretary John Whittingdale at a dinner reported by The Guardian to have been "a prolonged encounter described by witnesses as 'feisty' and a 'full and frank' exchange of views".
Perkins reportedly laid in to the man charged with deciding the future of the BBC and its funding stream, giving him her thoughs on the government's relationship with Britain's public broadcaster.
"We had a lively exchange during which many views were contested and I said my piece," she told the paper, adding: "It was a very well intentioned but pretty fiery exchange."