Laura Kuenssberg came close to quitting 'ugly' social media after vile campaigns of abuse

Laura Kuenssberg no longer reads online comments after suffering a campaign of vile abuse, she has said, and came close to removing herself from social media entirely.

The BBC political editor told author Tom Baldwin: "I’ve tried to pull back and I’ve thought about coming off it all together.

"Partly, that’s because it’s uglier out there now; it’s like a playground where people want to shout each other down.

"I don’t read the comments people write about me – it’s not worth it."

Ms Kuenssberg added in the remarks, reported in Baldwin's book Ctrl Alt Delete: How Politics and the Media Crashed our Democracy, that she once believed in engaging the public through social media - but this has changed.

BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg 'breached impartiality rules with her Jeremy Corbyn report in 2015' (PA)

Abuse of the journalist spiralled after fans of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn claimed the BBC star's coverage was biased against him.

She drew fire from a vocal group of angry left-wingers for her coverage of his shadow cabinet reshuffle in 2016, and Labour's weak performance in subsequent local elections.

She was hissed at when she asked a question to the Labour leader shortly before the Brexit referendum.

Then left-wing website the Canary set up a petition on 38 Degrees calling for Ms Kuenssberg to be sacked, attracting 35,000 signatures before it was shut down because of misogynistic abuse in the comments section.

The BBC Trust, formerly the ruling body of the public broadcaster, did find that Ms Kuenssberg quoted Mr Corbyn out of context on shoot-to-kill policy, but rejected that it was a "deliberate attempt to mislead audiences".

At the Labour party conference last year Ms Kuenssberg was protected by a security guard provided by the BBC.

Labour's Yvette Cooper spoke out last July against attacks on the journalist, saying she was "sick to death of the vitriol poured out from all sides towards Laura Kuenssberg".

Ms Cooper said: "It is her job to ask difficult questions. It is her job to be sceptical about everything we say. Nothing justifies the personal vitriol, or the misogyny."