UK

Yvette Cooper Receives Online Abuse After Railling Against 'Vitriol And Misogyny'

MP defended BBC's Laura Kuenssberg against attacks 'straight out of Trump playbook'.

09/07/2017 21:21 BST
Leon Neal via Getty Images
Yvette Cooper: "It’s time we did the unfashionable thing and started defending the BBC."

Yvette Cooper has received “predictable” attacks online after giving a speech where she condemned the “vitriolic abuse” dished out online and coming to the defence of the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg.   

In a speech to the Fabian Society on Saturday, the former Labour minister said she was “sick to death of the vitriol poured out from all sides towards” at the corporation’s Political Editor, arguing it was “straight out of the Trump playbook”

Cooper, who has set up the Reclaim The Internet campaign to tackle online abuse, highlighted how the trolling of Kuenssberg - from all sides, including Labour supporters - was part of “a wider attack on the very institutions we need to sustain our democracy”.

She cited the criticism of senior Tories Andrea Leadsom and Liam Fox, who have suggested the media is not being “patriotic” enough in its apparently negative coverage of the Brexit negotiations. 

Cooper said:

“Frankly I am sick to death of the vitriol poured out from all sides towards Laura Kuenssberg

“It is her job to ask difficult questions. It is her job to be sceptical about everything we say.

“Nothing justifies the personal vitriol, or the misogyny. It’s straight out of the Trump playbook.

“And as with Trump, it is part of a wider attack on the very institutions we need to sustain our democracy.

“Institutions like the BBC which save us from the demagoguery of tyrants or the megaphones of media moguls are now facing a frenzied level of criticism

“From Andrea Leadsom and Liam Fox accusing the BBC of lack of patriotism for asking questions on Brexit

“From Alex Salmond accusing the BBC of running Scotland down

“And from all sides – including many in Labour – for systematic bias.

“In a world of fake news, whether we agree with them or not, we need independent, impartial news broadcasting more than ever.

“And it’s time we did the unfashionable thing and started defending the BBC.”

Less than 24 hours later, the MP revealed the speech had prompted a “predictable” response.

Meanwhile, frontbench Labour MP Angela Rayner tweeted how she was receiving abuse - again - because of her accent after appearing on the Sunday morning politics shows.

Cooper also highlighted abuse directed at the Labour MP Luciana Berger, who has been targeted by supporters of Jeremy Corbyn over her past criticism of the leader.

She said: “Frankly Labour party members should be united in supporting Luciana, not targeting her or trying to intimidate her. Unacceptable always in the Labour party. Utterly shameful against someone who has stood up to fascists, someone who is on maternity leave.”

Cooper critcised the US president’s use of Twitter, saying: “These aren’t just harmless rants from a sad man in his bedroom. This is the bully pulpit of the most powerful man on the planet, broadcast direct to millions of people, echoed and amplified by the Breitbarts, the cheerleaders, the echo chambers.”