Kelvin Hopkins.

This is pathetically poor work from the UK’s national broadcaster.

The story should be that a Labour MP named Kelvin Hopkins, who served briefly on a Jeremy Corbyn shadown cabinet before returning to the backbenchers, has been suspended after it was claimed that he sexually harassed Ava Etemadzadeh, sending her inappropriate message and pressing his body against her when they hugged.

The hook on the story is the question of whether Mr Corbyn knew about the allegations against Mr Hopkins when the accused man was appointed to the shadow cabinet.

But the BBC has turned it into a completely different matter with coverage that seems to be overkill – compared to the almost total lack of interest in no less than 36 allegations of unsuitable sexual behaviour against Conservative MPs, and an unwillingness to ask how much of this information was known to Theresa May.

Mrs May is known to have received regular weekly updates on the inappropriate behaviour of her MPs – called the “Ins and Outs” reports – but the contents of those reports are not public knowledge. A spreadsheet, naming 36 Tory MPs and listing their activities, is.

Today (November 3), Mr Corbyn was approached by a BBC reporter on the street, who asked whether he had prior knowledge of the allegations against Mr Hopkins.

So far, to the best of my knowledge, nobody has asked Mrs May whether she had any knowledge of the activities of the people who have become known as the Tory Sleaze 36.

Then there’s the fact that Mr Hopkins has been suspended from the Labour Party while an investigation takes place. This was done as soon as the allegation became public knowledge:

So far, none of the 36 Tory MPs on the spreadsheet have been suspended and no investigations have been launched into their activities.

And then there’s the matter of BBC political editor Laura Kuennsberg, whose Twitter account seems to have suddenly woken up:

Andrea Leadsom was yesterday said to have complained about inappropriate comments by Mr Fallon, triggering his resignation as Defence Secretary. Ms Kuenssberg saw no interest in this, but tweeted 13 times about Mr Hopkins.

Is this appropriate behaviour for a news broadcaster that claims to be impartial?

This Writer – and news reporter of 23 years’ standing – would humbly suggest that it is not.


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