A father who confronted Boris Johnson to complain about the state of the NHS has defended the BBC’s political editor after she faced criticism for pointing out he is a Labour activist.
Omar Salem said Laura Kuenssberg was doing her job “without fear or favour”, after a Twitter storm in which she was condemned for potentially opening him up to abuse online.
After Mr Salem took the Prime Minister to task during a visit to a children’s ward at Whipps Cross University Hospital, where his seven-day-old daughter is being treated, Kuenssberg told her followers he was a Labour activist, linking to one of his posts about the incident.
It prompted fury from many social media users, some suggesting it could “direct harassment” at Mr Salem, and causing #SackLauraKuenssberg to begin trending online. Yesterday Mr Salem tweeted: “@bbclaurak is doing her job without fear or favour, which is a vital part of democracy. I don’t think ‘Labour activist cares about NHS’ is a huge scoop though...”
The BBC had earlier said any suggestion Kuenssberg had maliciously shared Mr Salem’s tweet was “absurd”.
The BBC said: “Laura uses social media as part of her job. Like many others, Laura quote-tweeted a thread by Omar Salem, who had written himself about his encounter with the PM on social media and describes himself as a Labour activist.
“Any suggestions there was malicious intent behind her tweets are absurd.”
Mr Salem’s tweet which Kuenssberg shared read: “Boris Johnson dropped into @WhippsCrossHosp for a press opportunity - so I gave him a piece of my mind about how he is running the NHS based on the experience with my 7 day old daughter, who was neglected for hours last night.”