Published On: Mon, Aug 12th, 2019

How 'Labour's attack dog' hit out at Laura Kuenssberg after lacklustre debate

Ms Kuenssberg grilled Jeremy Corbyn, Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall on BBC Newsnight’s Labour leadership debate in 2015. All four candidates were accused of a lacklustre performance by viewers, but Labour’s Michael Dugher pointed the finger elsewhere. Mr Dugher, who was Shadow Transport Secretary at the time, was widely known as ‘Labour’s attack dog’ for his work with Gordon Brown’s spin doctor Damian McBride.

The senior Labour politician complained that Ms Kuenssberg “never shut up”, according to The Spectator.

Mr Dugher backed former Leigh MP Mr Burnham in the leadership contest and was later sacked from the Shadow Cabinet in Mr Corbyn’s major reshuffle in January 2016.

His comments attacking Ms Kuenssberg were supported by fellow Labour frontbencher Lucy Powell on Twitter.

Ms Powell previously criticised the BBC’s election coverage, writing a formal complaint over the way they reported on a potential SNP-Labour coalition in the 2015 General Election.

READ MORE: BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg reveals the fatal flaw in May’s Brexit strategy

She later resigned from Mr Corbyn’s Shadow Cabinet in June 2016 and supported Owen Smith in the leadership challenge.

However, she retracted her comments in 2017, saying: “We were wrong about Jeremy Corbyn.”

Meanwhile, Ms Kuenssberg was promoted a month after the leadership debate to be the BBC’s political editor.

Ms Kuenssberg joined the BBC in 2000, covering regional news in the North East and Cumbria.

Labour’s ‘attack dog’ Mr Dugher worked at 10 Downing Street from 2008-2010 as Chief Political Spokesman for Mr Brown.

After entering the Commons in 2010, he was known for rather mindlessly attacking Tory ministers about wasted money.

According to the Telegraph, Mr Dugher himself wasted £30,000 of taxpayers money tabling 185 parliamentary questions intended to highlight Government waste, only to find in many areas the incumbents were doing better than their Labour predecessors.

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