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14 Jul, 2017 15:14

BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg ‘needed bodyguard’ during election

BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg ‘needed bodyguard’ during election

BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg was given a bodyguard during the 2017 general election after threats to her safety, reports say.

Some of the threats made were so serious it was deemed necessary to provide protection to ward off and deter any would-be attackers.

The journalist has been regularly accused of bias from both the right and left of the political spectrum. She has also been subject to petitions to have her removed from her role, one of which – on the 38 Degrees website - was removed for reportedly attracting sexist abuse.

Kuenssberg was also booed at a news conference at which Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was speaking when she stood up to ask a question. Corbyn himself intervened to ask those deriding her to let her speak.

The claim that Kuenssberg had a bodyguard was made by columnist Charles Moore in a Spectator article. He said that while Labour supporters were particularly scathing about her coverage of Jeremy Corbyn, it was Tory backers who had had an issue with her during and after the general election.

The bit the Tories haven’t said in public but keep complaining about in private is that the BBC never reported that Kuenssberg was so badly threatened online by Corbyn supporters that she was given personal protection,” Moore wrote. “They feel that this subdued her capacity to cover the contest clearly.

In January, the BBC trust ¬– the channel’s governing body – reprimanded Kuenssberg for misreporting Corbyn’s views on a shoot-to-kill policy for terrorists. The reporter was named Broadcaster of the Year by the Political Studies Association last November and Journalist of the Year by Press Gazette last December.