TWO of Scotland's leading female commentators have come to blows on Twitter in a row over claims of bias by BBC political editor, Laura Kuenssberg.
Bestselling crime writer and Yes supporter Val McDermid said her respect for the journalist had been cut "to shreds" over the way she responded to a tweet from Nicola Sturgeon on Saturday.
SNP supporters criticised the tweet, posted during the 'Super Saturday' debate at Westminster, where Ms Kuenssberg wrote "right on cue!" in response to a tweet by Ms Sturgeon blasting Downing Street's depiction of the Letwin Amendment as dishonest.
The dishonesty of this is breathtaking. The Letwin amendment is a protection against the risk of no deal at this stage https://t.co/KDaRY7y4sa— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) October 19, 2019
However, broadcaster Muriel Gray hit back at Ms McDiarmid, saying that "mocking politicians of every party" was a normal part of public and media discourse.
Mocking politicians of all and every party instead of beatifying them used to be the norm in Scotland. We were rather good at it. The bedrock of Scots humour. Not sure I even recognise this ‘worship the great leader or else’ thing. It’s so not ...Scottish.— Muriel Gray (@ArtyBagger) October 19, 2019
She added that shying away from criticism of the FM "goes against everything that made us anti-establishment".
Well if you support the First Minister, I can’t see a problem. It just gets beyond weird when people as razor smart as Val clutch their pearls when anyone challenges their icon. It goes against everything that made us anti establishment, sceptical canny (and funny) Scots.— Muriel Gray (@ArtyBagger) October 20, 2019
However, Ms McDermid hit back at accusations that she was engaged in "blind worship" of the SNP leader, and said that Ms Kuenssberg had not been even-handed.
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She's paid to report, not to deride. If she were even-handed in her 'commentary' I would have no complaint. Don't you dare accuse me of blind worship, @ArtyBagger. You should know better than that. https://t.co/GSIutLfUZ2— Val McDermid (@valmcdermid) October 20, 2019
Glaswegian Ms Kuenssberg - the BBC's first ever female political editor - has previously had to be given a bodyguard after being subjected to online abuse and threats from over alleged bias in her reporting about Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
The Brexitcast panellist was also accused of partiality by supporters of the Conservatives, Ukip and the SNP.