Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
10 May 2016

Why do people hate Laura Kuenssberg so much?

A petition calling for the BBC's political editor to be sacked for anti-Corbyn bias has been taken down. But was her biggest flaw... being a woman?

By media mole

Remember when the left used to believe in employment rights? Now, not so much. A petition went up on 38 Degrees earlier this week calling for BBC Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg to be sacked. Her crime? An apparent Conservative bias.

What makes Kuenssberg’s reporting biased against Labour in a way that her colleagues’ isn’t? Presumably not this report setting out how long it took the government to u-turn over child refugees. Nor when she explained the internal disagreements between Theresa May and David Cameron’s approaches to the EU referendum. And the hard left surely aren’t referring to when, unlike most political journalists, she reported in depth John Whittingdale’s relationship with a sex worker and its implications for press regulation. 

Maybe there’s an alternative explanation for some of her more extreme detractors’ intense and personal hostility towards Kuenssberg, one more than hinted at by the petition’s removal from the 38 Degrees website this afternoon – that unlike all her predecessors in the job at the BBC, Kuenssberg is a woman. David Babbs of 38 Degrees said the petition had become a magnet for misogynist abuse, while the Independent‘s Jane Merrick noted that Kuenssberg had faced all the same criticisms as Nick Robinson, with an extra helping of sexism.

Where’s the newer, kinder politics when you need it?

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A weekly dig into the New Statesman’s archive of over 100 years of stellar and influential journalism, sent each Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy