The BBC has been forced to defend Laura Kuenssberg after viewers complained that she attempted to ask an ‘inappropriate’ question at the coronavirus Downing Street press briefings.
Laura attempted to put a question to Health Secretary Matt Hancock about Boris Johnson, who has insisted he personally paid for the makeover on his Downing Street flat, after it was announced the funding would be investigated.
‘If a serving government minister is found to have broken the rules on party funding, should they resign?’ she asked.
Mr Hancock, however, shot Laura down and replied: ‘Thanks very much. I know the Prime Minister answered lots of questions about this at the House of Commons earlier and given that this is a coronavirus press conference, you won’t be surprised that I’m not going to add to the answers the prime minister has already given.’
Viewers voiced their upset at Laura’s question on social media, with many criticising her for not sticking to the topic of Covid-19 and even threatening to cancel their licence fee.
‘Laura Kuenssberg should resign as BBC political editor after that ridiculous, totally unrelated opening question,’ slammed one.
Laura Kuenssberg’s question was shot down by Matt Hancock (Picture: BBC)
Echoing a similar sentiment, another added: ‘Absolutely idiotic for BBC bosses to support the inappropriate question by mouth almighty @bbclaura to @MattHancock during this evening’s Covid update by repeating the same broadcast on tonights 6 o’clock @BBCNews.
‘I don’t pay my TV licence for this. I won’t if it continues.’
The BBC defended Laura after receiving complaints, insisting that journalists can ask politicians questions on any subject.
‘The line of questioning used by our correspondents at the Downing Street coronavirus briefings does usually focus on the most pertinent aspects of the pandemic,’ a spokesperson said.
‘However, on certain occasions, we have also used these briefings as an opportunity to ask government ministers questions on issues of importance unrelated to Covid.
‘In the past, ministers have been happy to address other topics, and have given in depth responses which we believe would have been of interest to our audience.’
The spokesperson continued: ‘Earlier in the day, the Electoral Commission had announced that they had launched an investigation into the funding of Boris Johnson’s Downing Street flat renovations.
‘This is a developing and significant story, with potentially serious implications. In this context, we believe it was legitimate for Laura Kuenssberg to use her question to the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, to reference this.
‘A principle of journalism in the UK is that journalists can ask politicians questions on any subject; politicians are of course under no obligation to respond and can decline to answer, as was the case in this instance.’
Credit: Original article published here.