Newsnight guest Rachel Reeves was 'boring snoring', says show's editor Ian Katz on Twitter

The former Guardian deputy editor has since apologised for posting the insulting tweet about frontbench Labour MP that was sent to his 26,000 followers

The editor of BBC2’s flagship news programme has provoked a furious row with Labour by letting slip a candid private opinion of a prominent frontbench MP’s “boring snoring” interview style.

Ian Katz, who has been at the helm of Newsnight for only just over a week, learnt a hard lesson about the perils of Twitter after he responded to a friend’s message about Monday night’s edition. He accepted the  praise, but added a withering  assessment of the contribution of Rachel Reeves, the shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

He tweeted back: “Tnks… except for boring snoring rachel reeves… playout was fun tho, wasn’t it? telly MUCH netter [sic] than snooooozepapers innit.”

His response was meant to be a  direct message to his acquaintance, but instead could be seen by all of his 26,000 followers.

Ms Reeves, who is regarded as one of Labour’s highest-flyers, replied sarcastically: “thanks…”

Mr Katz rapidly deleted the offending tweet and said sorry to Ms Reeves, but Labour demanded a full public apology for the comment.

“It is completely unacceptable for a senior BBC editor to have expressed this view, whether or not you intended for it to be made public,” the party  told him.

“It is vitally important the Labour Party, our Shadow Cabinet and Newsnight viewers have confidence in the impartiality and fairness of your programme, and the criteria on which guests and interviews are judged.

“This incident undermines that confidence and it is important this  is redressed.”

He replied that he apologised unreservedly for his “ill-judged remark”, insisting it did not reflect on his programme’s neutrality, and said he hoped Ms Reeves would  be interviewed again soon.

Mr Katz, a former deputy editor of The Guardian, was a surprise replacement for Peter Rippon, who left Newsnight following the Jimmy Savile crisis. The programme’s reputation took a further battering last year when it falsely linked a senior Conservative to  allegations of child abuse.

His expression of contrition did  not prevent senior Labour figures  from threatening a boycott of the  programme, which has been running for 33 years.

Michael Dugher, Labour’s vice-chairman, tweeted: “Good luck in future to BBCNewsnight in trying to persuade Labour people to go on their frankly rather boring programme  at 11 at night… And whilst I’m at it… I’m not sure a guy who worked for the Guardian (yawn) & now Newsnight (snooze) can lecture people about being boring.”

John Denham, a former cabinet minister, posted: “Ian Katz helped me answer whether I wanted to go from Southampton to Glasgow to appear  on Newsnight.”

An invitation to appear on Newsnight was once considered by politicians to be highly prestigious, but its appeal has palled with the profusion of other media outlets offering airtime at more sociable hours.

Mr Katz’s appointment was seen as an initiative to help the programme  to gain publicity by generating  agenda-setting news stories. However, his gaffe led to headlines today of the sort Newsnight thought it had put behind it.

Ian Katz shares his views on Rachel Reeves with the world Ian Katz shares his views on Rachel Reeves with the world  

News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
football
News
i100
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
News
people
News
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
News
Tovey says of homeless charity the Pillion Trust : 'If it weren't for them and the park attendant I wouldn't be here today.'
people
Sport
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Data Scientist

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: A data analytics are currently looking t...

Web / Digital Analyst - SiteCatalyst or Google Analytics

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client who are a leading publisher in...

Campaign Manager

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: A leading marketing agency is currently ...

BI Analyst

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: A leading marketing agency in Central Lo...

Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little