Newsnight editor Ian Katz brands Rachel Reeves "boring snoring" in Twitter fail

The programme's new editor insults the Labour shadow cabinet minister and refers to his former trade as "snooooozepapers".

After last night's Newsnight, an eclectic edition featuring interviews with Chris Huhne, Alex Turner and Rachel Reeves, new editor Ian Katz decided to share his thoughts on the programme with a friend on Twitter. Unfortunately, he also did so with his other 26,563 followers after accidentally posting a public message.

Katz, the former deputy editor of the Guardian, branded Reeves, the shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, "boring snoring" and referred to his former trade as "snooooozepapers". 

An unsurprisingly aggrieved Reeves, who discussed zero-hour contracts and Ed Miliband's trade union reforms on the show, sarcastically replied: "thanks..."

Katz has now apologised to Reeves but what about those still unfortunate enough to work for "snooooozepapers"?

Shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Rachel Reeves.

I'm a mole, innit.

Photo: Getty
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Who will win the Copeland by-election?

Labour face a tricky task in holding onto the seat. 

What’s the Copeland by-election about? That’s the question that will decide who wins it.

The Conservatives want it to be about the nuclear industry, which is the seat’s biggest employer, and Jeremy Corbyn’s long history of opposition to nuclear power.

Labour want it to be about the difficulties of the NHS in Cumbria in general and the future of West Cumberland Hospital in particular.

Who’s winning? Neither party is confident of victory but both sides think it will be close. That Theresa May has visited is a sign of the confidence in Conservative headquarters that, win or lose, Labour will not increase its majority from the six-point lead it held over the Conservatives in May 2015. (It’s always more instructive to talk about vote share rather than raw numbers, in by-elections in particular.)

But her visit may have been counterproductive. Yes, she is the most popular politician in Britain according to all the polls, but in visiting she has added fuel to the fire of Labour’s message that the Conservatives are keeping an anxious eye on the outcome.

Labour strategists feared that “the oxygen” would come out of the campaign if May used her visit to offer a guarantee about West Cumberland Hospital. Instead, she refused to answer, merely hyping up the issue further.

The party is nervous that opposition to Corbyn is going to supress turnout among their voters, but on the Conservative side, there is considerable irritation that May’s visit has made their task harder, too.

Voters know the difference between a by-election and a general election and my hunch is that people will get they can have a free hit on the health question without risking the future of the nuclear factory. That Corbyn has U-Turned on nuclear power only helps.

I said last week that if I knew what the local paper would look like between now and then I would be able to call the outcome. Today the West Cumbria News & Star leads with Downing Street’s refusal to answer questions about West Cumberland Hospital. All the signs favour Labour. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to British politics.