The BBC trust has found Laura Kuenssberg’s Corbyn report about shoot-to-kill policies false and inaccurate. The interview came in the wake of the Paris terrorist shootings.
The BBC regulator concluded that Kuenssberg’s reporting breached impartiality and accuracy guidelines and misrepresented Jeremy Corbyn’s views on the appropriate use of force against terrorist attackers.
The investigation and subsequent report came from a viewer complaint.
Kuenssberg had asked the question would he be happy for police or military to use “shoot to kill” on Britain’s streets.
For which Corbyn replied, “I am not happy with a shoot-to-kill policy in general. I think that is quite dangerous and I think can often be counterproductive.”
However, in the News at Six item, Kuenssberg has used this response from Corbyn to answer a different question specifically about the Paris attacks. She asked, would you be “happy for British officers to pull the trigger in the event of a Paris-style attack?”
The Trust ruled that this had misrepresented his views.
Corbyn Deliberately Misrepresented
In actuality when asked specifically in the event of a Paris-style attack on London about shoot to kill, he responded, “Of course you’d bring people on to the streets to prevent and ensure there is safety within our society, much better that’s done by the police than security services, much better we have strong and effective community policing, neighbourhood policing and a cohesive society that brings people together.”
The complainant is not named but has no connection with Jeremy Corbyn. The trust ruled that it wrongly suggested that he was against the additional security measures the government was suggesting.
The Trust also found that the false and inaccurate reporting was compounded by Kuenssberg’s declaration that Corbyn’s view “couldn’t be more different” than that of the prime minister.
BBC’s Poor Record at Representing Corbyn
BBC News director, James Harding said, “While we respect the Trust and the people who work there, we disagree with this finding. BBC News reported on the leader of the opposition in the same way it would any other politician.”
This however, has also been found to be false as three organisations including two prestigious universities in separate studies have found the BBC together with other media organisations to be repeatedly biased against Jeremy Corbyn.