What they didn’t tell you about that resignation of Labour shadow minister Stephen Doughty: doing it live on TV and — devastatingly — before PMQs wasn’t his idea … but that of the BBC.

This blog by politics producer Andrew Alexander was published on the BBC’s osbscure College of Journalism blog this afternoon — and then deleted.

Scrapbook’s emphasis:

Just before 9am we learned from Laura Kuenssberg, who comes on the programme every Wednesday ahead of PMQs, that she was speaking to one junior shadow minister who was considering resigning. I wonder, mused our presenter Andrew Neil, if they would consider doing it live on the show?

The question was put to Laura, who thought it was a great idea. Considering it a long shot we carried on the usual work of building the show, and continued speaking to Labour MPs who were confirming reports of a string of shadow ministers considering their positions.

Within the hour we heard that Laura had sealed the deal: the shadow foreign minister Stephen Doughty would resign live in the studio.

Although he himself would probably acknowledge he isn’t a household name, we knew his resignation just before PMQs would be a dramatic moment with big political impact. We took the presenters aside to brief them on the interview while our colleagues on the news desk arranged for a camera crew to film him and Laura arriving in the studio for the TV news packages.

There’s always a bit of nervous energy in the studio and the gallery just before we go on air at 11.30am, but I’d say it was a notch higher than usual this week. By this point we weren’t worried about someone else getting the story as we had Stephen Doughty safely in our green room. Our only fear was that he might pull his punches when the moment came.

When it did, with about five minutes to go before PMQs, he was precise, measured and quietly devastating – telling Andrew that “I’ve just written to Jeremy Corbyn to resign from the front bench” and accusing Mr Corbyn’s team of “unpleasant operations” and telling “lies”.

The full post is still available in Google’s cache.

Kuenssberg, Alexander and Daily Politics editor Robbie Gibb are silent on the matter on Twitter — which, along with the deleted blog post, may indicate Auntie bosses think they overstepped the ‘news making’ mark.

This is going to kick off.


  1. Julian Allam says:

    These MP’s need to realise they are not there to represent themselves but the people that voted for them. All they look like are spoilt children. They need to grow up and tackle the real issues and stop trying to undermine a leader that the people wanted.

  2. Good riddance anyway of self-serving, self-centred people who only want to be MP’s for their own benefit. Thanks to Jeremy Corbyn they are all being exposed and being weeded out. BBC thank you for helping with this through your bias.

  3. Andrew Field says:

    These so-called journalists should be resigning over this – or they should be sacked. This is disgusting. Kuenssberg’s article on News at Ten has shown her to be very partisan and not able to conduct herself professionally.

  4. Valerie Rawlinson says:

    The great British public did not forgive Ed for stabbing his brother in the back and will remember those who are doing the same to Jeremy Corbyn – the people’s hero despite Andrew Neil’s desperate attempts to score points.

  5. Who?? But jokes aside, the man should be de-selected, for his despicable ‘hatchet job’ and this ‘part’ in this pre-planed and scripted performance, conducted to cause maximum damage to both Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour party, yet he has the audacity to talk of loyalty?? Off with his head!

  6. So many are missing the point on this; the resignation is not the story. The fact that BBC presenters, editors, reporters and staff organised the whole situation to have maximum negative effect on the Labour party in general and Jeremy Corbyn in particular, is abhorrent to anyone who wishes for an impartial media stance from the BBC.

  7. I never watch BBC new s to biased and ask for the biased reporting by Laura k and cronies well find it boring , I’d say Jeremy is doing something right love him and his politics , we are just so used to lies by polititian s that people can’t quite get it when faced with true gent go Jeremy

  8. you can’t blame anyone other than Doughty. He gave his consent, he is responsible for his own resignation.

  9. Andrew Neil and Laura Kuensberg have a lot to answer for, but lets not forget who they report to and the background from whence he came. It will be interesting to hear the scripted snide
    they come out with today to cover their murky tracks.

  10. We had a good one during the referendum, where the BBC blasted out worldwide that RBS were leaving Scotland. Before the RBS board meeting had even ended, round about midnight. This “unsourced leak” was deemed by the BBC as an official press release. RBS had made no such decision and did not plan any movement of jobs south. Next morning the RBS CEO made a statement to his workforce that the leak was false. But the damage had done. Same as this Corbyn resignation.The clever BBC spin suggesting that “there are many more ministers about to resign, as much as half his cabinet “

  11. It seems Laura had confirmation of this resignation full 2 hours before he ‘announced’ it , live on TV and a few minutes before PMQs therefor wrong footing Corbyn’s team and giving something for the Tories to play with . So why didn’t Laura and the BBC report this fact earlier knowing full well the delay would cause maximum damage to the Labour leadership team ? And if the BBC are so cavalier in their attitude to maintain ‘balance’ , why should we continue to fund it ?

  12. Get a grip. What a load of rubbish. Publishing this undermines this site’s credibility.

    What we have is a Shadow Minister who had decided to quit because another Shadow Minister had been sacked for condemning ISIL. A BBC journalist called the Shadow Minister, found out he was going to quit and asked him to do it on a BBC programme so she could get the story. There is no conspiracy, no anti-Corbyn bias and no calculated attempt to damage the Labour Party (The way the reshuffle has been handled has done enough this week anyway). It is simply a matter of a journalist doing her job and getting a story.

    Those who are determined to see bias everywhere should get over themselves and instead attacking the Tories.

  13. johnny rudkin says:

    laura kuenssberg and andrew neil and his whole politics team should be sacked for engineering this attack on the leader of the labour party giving cameron the opportunity to attack the labour leader in the house of commons with the braying torys behind him it is the bbcs duty to report events not manipulate them

  14. I was once a supporter of the licence fee but no longer feel so inclined. The BBC has shown it is incapable of reporting the news without bias and I have stopped watching/listening to a number of its broadcasts. In my view both Andrew Neil and Laura Kuensberg should (at the very least) be suspended from further duties concerning news reporting. The licence-fee payer deserves better than this!

  15. I am horrified by this. The Daily Politics has reached the bottom now. It was close before never considering the views of large numbers of people who voted for Corbyn and the need for a new mature approach to politics. This is just feeble. I was unbiased news and not stage managed point scoring.

  16. That’s all we need, the right wing controlling the BBC, they already control almost all our newspapers, For the first time in years we have someone really prepared to help ordinary people and the media have set out to destroy him, come on people, back him, don’t let the media and especially the BBC get away with this. Do people remember how the media tried to destroy Tony Benn because he was labelled Left wing?

  17. Orchestration appears to have tipped over into fabrication in the case of the 2013 BBC Panorama documentary ‘Saving Syria’s Children’ http://bit.ly/1qA9qAA. Former UK ambassador Craig Murray has commented here http://bit.ly/ZvZ2iv

    This piece discusses some aspects of the matter http://bit.ly/1k7Q6KU. I recently handed this letter to Jeremy Corbyn http://bit.ly/1Ovp268

    RT produced this report in 2014 http://bit.ly/1uy3RVw, the fallout from which is discussed here http://bit.ly/1izeHHC (I don’t place the same importance on the editing of Dr Hallam’s “interview” that RT does).

    Some You Tube videos have also been made casting light on the UK charity involve, Hand in Hand for Syria: http://bit.ly/1k7Q6KU http://bit.ly/1uy3RVw

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