Home U.K. BBC’s Kuenssberg slams Diane Abbott over defence of Bercow bullying - ‘Beyond...

BBC’s Kuenssberg slams Diane Abbott over defence of Bercow bullying – ‘Beyond the pale’

The BBC Political Editor labelled the Shadow Home Secretary’s response to former Black Rod David Leakey “beyond the pale”. Ms Abbott had tweeted in response to the bullying allegations Mr Leakey made against Mr Bercow: “Allegations come from the former parliamentary official David Leakey. He had been a Lieutenant General who served in Germany, Northern Ireland and Bosnia. But claims he was bullied i.e intimidated and coerced by John Bercow. Unlikely.”

Mr Bercow has always denied any wrongdoing and told Sky News on Tuesday the claims were a pile of “total and utter rubbish”. 

Ms Kuenssberg told BBC Two’s Politics Live: “There was an immediate reaction to that online and I understand she has now deleted this tweet.

“But it was up there long enough for plenty of people to see it and up there long enough for plenty of people to criticise it in the strongest terms.

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“Because of course what most people would think if someone is making allegations of bullying, whoever they are, whatever their background is, they have to be taken seriously.

“Interestingly Dan Jarvis, who is a Labour MP and former member of the military, has also got into this debate and said someone’s background military or other is absolutely irrelevant.

READ MORE: Laura Kuenssberg explains what leaked NHS documents really say

“The boss of the civil service union was also out there very quickly suggesting that the idea that just because they are a tough person and have been in the army their allegations shouldn’t be taken seriously is really beyond the pale.”

She continued: “The context to this, of course, is that although John Bercow has always denied this he has been repeatedly accused by people with long records of public service in this country.

“The Labour Party particularly prominent members of the Labour party have pretty much always stood behind him.

“That in itself has been controversial for a party that is always saying publicly that you have to take these kinds of things seriously.”

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