The Conservative Party has been caught using a discredited BBC News report to smear Jeremy Corbyn. And at the centre of this latest storm is one Laura Kuenssberg.
He’s not happy???
According to the media site Guido Fawkes, the Tories have released a new campaign video. It takes aim at Corbyn’s stance on national security:
But many of the Conservatives’ claims are either out of context or out of date. For example, regarding NATO, Corbyn told The Andrew Marr Show on 23 April that he:
would want to work with NATO leaders in building up an effective, sensible relationship with non-NATO countries such as Russia [to] de-escalate tensions around the world.
Which is completely at odds with what the video claims. But its most astonishing statement is that Corbyn says “I’m not happy with the shoot-to-kill policy”. Because this stance is untrue and comes from a discredited report by BBC Political Editor Kuenssberg. Yet the Conservative Party chose to frame it in the context of national security anyway.
If you repeat a lie often enough…
But if you were Prime Minister, would you be happy to order people – police or military – to shoot to kill on Britain’s streets?
And Corbyn replying:
I’m not happy with a shoot-to-kill policy in general. I think that is quite dangerous and I think can often be counter-productive. I think you have to have security that prevents people firing off weapons where you can.
But Corbyn’s answer to Kuenssberg was in a response to a different question. She had asked him about shoot-to-kill in general. Whereas the final BBC report showed it in the context of a Paris-style attack. Something she neither asked Corbyn, nor did he respond to. A viewer complained to the BBC Trust about the misrepresentation. And the Trust upheld the complaint. It said:
Conservatives: propaganda central
Sadly, the BBC Trust said there was “no evidence” that Kuenssberg’s misrepresentation of Corbyn was intentional. She may not have been wanting to smear Corbyn (the jury’s out on that one). But the Conservatives, with their use of her now-discredited report to quote Corbyn on a national security policy he didn’t even comment on, are.
This blatant piece of Conservative propaganda represents everything that’s wrong with UK politics. For the party of government to take a false news report so openly and use it for its own ends makes a mockery of the UK democratic system. Something that’s sadly not unusual from our current government.
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Featured image via screengrab, and additional image via Eoin Clarke