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The BBC’S Laura Kuenssberg has been reported to police by members of the public after she appeared to break election laws just hours before polling stations opened their doors.
During a live interview yesterday where she was asked about voter turnout predictions, the broadcaster’s political editor claimed that postal ballot papers received ahead of the election painted a “grim” picture for Labour, sparking concern that it may deter Labour voters from heading to the polls.
Ms Kuenssberg said on BBC’s Politics Live programme that while parties are not supposed to look at voting papers when they are verified at opening sessions, they do “get a hint” of how they are doing.
After the video of her remarks went viral and caused outrage online, the Electoral Commission said that it “may be an offence” to share information obtained at postal vote opening sessions, including about votes already cast, before a poll has closed.
The watchdog also said: “Anyone with information to suggest this has happened should report it immediately to the police.”
Labour peer Andrew Adonis was among many posting on social media to say they have reported Ms Kuenssberg to the Commission, the Metropolitan Police and broadcast watchdog Ofcom for breaching the Representation of the People Act.
In response to the watchdog’s statement, historian and human rights activist Craig Murray tweeted: “This is extremely important. We all have evidence specifically showing that Laura Kuenssberg has received illegal information and herself broadcast illegal information.
“Everybody should report this to the Metropolitan Police. Or are Tories above the law?”
The BBC said that it did not believe Ms Kuenssberg had broken electoral law with her comments, made a day before the general election, but has removed the relevant footage from its website.
Party candidates and agents can observe postal votes being verified, but the ballot papers are placed face down and not counted until polls close on election day.
Ms Kuenssberg’s comments came just two days after she was forced to apologise to her Twitter followers for falsely claiming that an aide of Conservative Matt Hancock had been punched by a Labour supporter.
Additional footage of the BBC’s political correspondent Alex Forsyth saying “if Boris wins the majority he so deserves” has also been making the rounds on Twitter.
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