Jeremy Corbyn defends BBC journalist after crowd boos her

Will Taylor
News Reporter

Jeremy Corbyn had to intervene and defend a journalist when she was booed at the launch of Labour’s manifesto today.

Laura Kuenssberg, the BBC’s political editor, was jeered when she stood up to ask Mr Corbyn a question at the launch event in Birmingham.

The booing came just seconds after Rebecca Long-Bailey had said she didn’t need to tell the “well-behaved audience” to give reporters “the full opportunity to have their questions heard”, joking they would get a gold star if they did and see her “angry face” if they didn’t.

Mr Corbyn told the small section of the audience that booed Ms Kuenssberg: “No, sorry, we don’t do that.

“All journalists will be heard with respect.”

His remarks were greeted with applause from the rest of the crowd at Birmingham City University.

Jeremy Corbyn defend Ms Kuenssberg during the launch of the Labour Party manifesto. (PA Images)

Some of Mr Corbyn’s supporters have criticised Ms Kuenssberg for what they perceive as bias against the Labour leader.

The anger directed at her led to Ms Kuenssberg attending Labour and Tory party conferences with a bodyguard in 2017.

A 2016 YouGov poll showed that 69% of Labour voters believe the media is biased against Jeremy Corbyn, providing negative coverage of him.

Ms Kuenssberg, pictured interviewing Jeremy Corbyn in 2017, has said online trolls have tried to silence her. (PA Images)

Twenty-four percent said the media was to blame for Labour’s poor performance in the polls at the time.

In 2015, the BBC Trust concluded Ms Kuenssberg had breached the BBC’s impartiality guidelines.

She had presented Mr Corbyn’s remarks that he was “not happy with a shoot to kill” anti-terrorist policy in the event of a Paris-style attack in the UK.

In context, Mr Corbyn had actually been asked about whether he would be happy for police to be able to shoot to kill in Britain’s streets, and was not specifically pushed on whether that would be in a Paris-style attack.

The BBC has been steadfast in its defence of Ms Kuenssberg’s award-winning work.

She has said online trolls have attempted to silence her.