UK

BBC's Laura Kuenssberg Defended After Telegraph Suggests She's 'Most Divisive Woman On TV'

'She has enemies to be proud of'.

27/06/2017 16:20 BST | Updated 27/06/2017 16:23 BST
Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph trails the Laura Kuenssberg article on its front page

The BBC’s political editor Laura Kuenssberg has been defended by colleagues and a former adversary after the Telegraph’s front page asked if she was “the most divisive woman on TV today”.

As the face of the avowedly neutral BBC’s politics coverage, Kuenssberg is attacked from all sides. Social media is usually awash with criticism alleging that she is either a Tory or a left-winger.

A petition that called for her dismissal last year was taken down after its creator said it was “hijacked by sexist trolls”.

Even today, aggressively pro-Jeremy Corbyn website The Canary has published an article suggesting her tweets were an attempt to “spin the Tory/DUP deal”.

But an article in Tuesday’s Daily Telegraph emphasising the controversy around her prompted journalists to rally round and defend her.

The Times’ Lucy Fisher, who also works in the Westminster lobby correspondent, said the Telegraph article had the “overwhelming stench of sexism” and called Kuenssberg “fair and fearless”.

Her Times colleague Sam Coates agreed.

Daily Mirror and New Statesman journalist Kevin Maguire also said the article had a “distinct whiff of divisive sexism”. 

New Statesman editor Jason Cowley said the attacks from across the political spectrum showed “one thing above all else: she’s good at her job”.

Which is actually the sentiment of the last line of the Telegraph article, which quotes a lobby correspondent saying: “Nick Robinson used to get accused of political bias, but mostly pro-Tory and it never seemed as personal or vicious.

“It’s remarkable that she gets accused of being in bed with both Labour and the Tories – so she must be doing something right.”

The Observer’s Nick Cohen said Kuenssberg had “enemies to be proud of”.

It wasn’t just journalists defending Kuenssberg.

Even Craig Oliver, a former BBC journalist who dealt with her when he was David Cameron’s communications boss, said she was fair and impartial.

Kuenssberg meanwhile was tweeting today about Nicola Sturgeon postponing the SNP’s plan or a second Scottish independence referendum.

 

And the response was...