Gavin And Stacey star Mathew Horne (pictured) launched an abusive personal attack on Laura Kuenssberg on Twitter
Gavin And Stacey star Mathew Horne launched an abusive personal attack on Laura Kuenssberg on Twitter on Election night, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
The actor’s comments in the early hours of Friday came after weeks of vitriol aimed at the BBC‘s political editor by Labour supporters, who claim the Corporation’s coverage during the campaign has been biased towards the Tories.
A one-off revival of Gavin And Stacey on Christmas Day is the jewel in the crown of the BBC’s holiday schedule, making Horne’s remarks about another of its stars a huge embarrassment for the Corporation.
Last night, a BBC presenter branded Mr Horne’s attack on Ms Kuenssberg a ‘disgrace’.
While Ms Kuenssberg was live on air, Horne, 41, tweeted at 1.38am: ‘I really wish I loved myself as much as you Laura @bbclaurak – I think, although deeply selfish, I’d probably be happier. For a bit. Lucky you.’
Moments earlier, the journalist had been on BBC1 discussing Labour’s losses – including in Nottinghamshire, where Mr Horne grew up – and the possible departure of Jeremy Corbyn in the wake of the party’s crushing defeat.
At about the same time, Ms Kuenssberg tweeted from the studio: ‘Swing in North of England is pretty consistently v big Labour to Tory… Tories may yet lose lots of their city seats, London may be brutal for them – let’s see.’
Last night, a BBC presenter branded Mr Horne’s attack on Ms Kuenssberg (pictured) a ‘disgrace’
This post seemed to prompt Horne’s next tweet at 1.43am: ‘Let’s see’… your ‘journalism’ knows no bounds. Resign, you disingenuous plopcarpet.’
In other tweets reacting to the exit poll predicting a huge Conservative majority, Horne wrote: ‘Call me a coward, I’m off. I’m leaving this unfathomable country,’ and ‘the turkeys have voted for Christmas’.
In his final tweet at 2.09am, he wrote: ‘I appreciate my political tweeting this evening has been unpalatable for a lot of people… My stance: IDGAF’ [‘I don’t give a f***’]. Later that night he deleted all the tweets.
While Ms Kuenssberg was live on air, Horne, 41, tweeted at 1.38am: ‘I really wish I loved myself as much as you Laura @bbclaurak – I think, although deeply selfish, I’d probably be happier. For a bit. Lucky you’
A one-off revival of Gavin And Stacey on Christmas Day is the jewel in the crown of the BBC’s holiday schedule, making Horne’s remarks about another of its stars a huge embarrassment for the Corporation
Ms Kuenssberg has been subjected to a stream of online attacks, often from Corbyn followers.
In 2017 it was reported the abuse had become so bad that she required a bodyguard when she covered that year’s Labour conference.
BBC editorial guidelines prohibit employees from engaging in social media activity that brings the Corporation into disrepute.
They state: ‘Staff should act with courtesy and consideration towards their colleagues, they should not attack or abuse them or their work on social media.’
In addition to his starring role in Gavin And Stacey, Horne has appeared in the BBC programmes Bad Education, The Catherine Tate Show and the 2016 reboot of Are You Being Served? However, he is not a direct employee and the guidelines may not apply to him.
A BBC spokesman declined to comment on his case.
The actor was just one of a number of stars who campaigned against the Conservatives in the General Election. Both Steve Coogan and Hugh Grant urged people to vote tactically to stop Boris Johnson from getting a majority.
A BBC presenter, who asked not to be named, told The Mail on Sunday: ‘I think Laura is an outstanding journalist and possibly the hardest-working person in our business.
‘She is also incredibly generous to those she works with and a total team player. The fact people are trying to get her fired – continually – speaks to the pathetic state of political discourse from a tiny cult.
‘Let’s not forget she needed a bodyguard at the Labour conference. An utter disgrace and a shambles.’
Horne was last night unavailable for comment.
Tireless, impeccably professional – and a hate figure for hard-Left
She’s the BBC’s brilliant political editor who has travelled across Britain to cover the Election.
But although colleagues and politicians alike acclaim Laura Kuenssberg as an impeccable professional, she has been the target of a campaign of abuse by far-Left extremists who accuse her of a pro-Tory bias.
On Friday, one Corbynista tweeted: ‘Not sure what was most depressing… waking up this morning to a massive Tory majority or the realisation that K***sberg still has a f****** job at the BBC.’
Another wrote: ‘Signing off from this c**** propaganda… the day will come when we can all cheer when she’s gone.’
Although colleagues and politicians alike acclaim Laura Kuenssberg as an impeccable professional, she has been the target of a campaign of abuse by far-Left extremists who accuse her of a pro-Tory bias
The 43-year-old has repeatedly brushed off the name-calling, saying she no longer looks at comments. ‘I stopped long ago,’ she said.
‘It’s not like a bully will go and pull someone’s pigtails in order to make them cry and then be satisfied with that. I don’t have a thick skin, just other priorities.’
Her Twitter profile now bears the message: ‘I know it’s fashionable, but even in 2019 there is nothing big or clever about shooting the messenger – tweets or retweets here aren’t necessarily my view.’
Since she was appointed as the BBC’s first female political editor in 2015, Ms Kuenssberg has hardly put a foot wrong.
However, last week she made a rare slip, tweeting that Conservative sources had told her that a Labour activist had punched a Tory aide outside a Leeds hospital. Video footage soon emerged to disprove the claim.
Ms Kuenssberg deleted the tweet and issued an immediate apology. She is said to have been left tearful by the error, which was seized upon as evidence of bias.
In recent weeks, her reports of the landmark Election have taken her more than 2,500 miles across the country.