A father who confronted Boris Johnson at an NHS hospital 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 over the incident.
After Salem took Boris Johnson 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, before linking to one of his posts about the incident.
It prompted fury from many social media users, with some suggesting it could “direct harassment” at Salem, and causing #SackLauraKuenssberg to begin trending online.
But 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 Salem’s tweet was “absurd”.
In a statement it said: “Laura is a journalist who 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.”