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Labour's Yvette Cooper says she's sick of 'vitriol and misogyny' aimed at BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg

'It’s straight out of the Trump playbook ...  it is part of a wider attack on the very institutions we need to sustain our democracy'

Will Worley
Sunday 09 July 2017 09:02 BST
Yvette Cooper: 'I'm sick of the vitriol aimed at Laura Kuenssberg'

Senior Labour MP Yvette Cooper has said she is “sick to death of the vitriol” and misogyny aimed at the BBC's political editor, Laura Kuenssberg.

The journalist, who holds one of the most recognisable and important jobs in broadcast media, has frequently been subject to accusations of bias against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn by his supporters.

Many on the right have also accused Ms Kuenssberg and other BBC journalists of biased reporting.

Ms Cooper, who chairs the Commons' Home Affairs Select Committee, called for the BBC to be defended.

Corbyn fans hiss Kuenssberg

Speaking at the Fabian Society summer conference, Ms 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.”

Soon after the speech, Ms Cooper tweeted some abuse directed to her because of her comments, including one calling for a “final solution” on Blairite MPs.

Ms Cooper also condemned attacks on other politicians, which she said went against Mr Corbyn’s rallying slogan of a "kinder, gentler politics".

She highlighted the "unacceptable" and "utterly shameful" abuse directed at Labour MP Luciana Berger, who has been targeted by supporters of Mr Corbyn over her past criticism of the leader.

"Frankly Labour Party members should be united in supporting Luciana, not targeting her or trying to intimidate her,” Ms Cooper said.

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