The SNP owns Laura Kuenssberg on Twitter and it’s quite delicious

Laura Kuenssberg and The Scottish Saltire
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The BBC‘s Laura Kuenssberg waded into the row over the SNP Commons walkout with flimsy evidence. But SNP MPs and officials were not impressed.

During Prime Minister’s Questions on 13 June, the SNP leader in Westminster Ian Blackford asked the speaker to use a parliamentary device to call for a vote to sit in private. Blackford wanted to know what his party could do to make the government understand Scotland’s concerns about an “unprecedented power grab” during Brexit discussions.

The speaker denied his request and banned Blackford from parliament for the day when he refused to sit down. This prompted a mass walkout of SNP MPs.

Enter Kuenssberg

There was much ensuing speculation over whether the walkout was a planned stunt – something Blackford denied. So Kuenssberg tweeted about it, using an email from the SNP to show the walkout was “planned”:

But as SNP strategist Ross Colquhoun pointed out:

An SNP MP also took issue with Kuenssberg’s tweet:

As did Stewart Maxwell, special adviser to SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon:

And as others pointed out, the SNP didn’t necessarily plan for the speaker’s reaction:

Other Twitter users asked whether she had any better evidence than this one email:

Evidence is everything

The degree to which the events at PMQs were deliberate or planned is speculation. Blackford knew what he was going to ask. And it’s certainly very possible he and the SNP talked about what they would do if and when the speaker denied his request.

But if BBC journalists are going to tweet evidence that something was “planned”, that evidence should be solid. And in this case, the evidence was sadly lacking.

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Featured image via Wikimedia/Police Exchange and Flickr/Foreign Office

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