Who could replace Laura Kuenssberg as the BBC’s next political editor?

·3-min read
Who could replace Laura Kuenssberg as the BBC’s next political editor?

Laura Kuenssberg is to step down as the BBC’s political editor after seven years in the job.

She took over from Nick Robinson in 2015, becoming the first woman to hold the position.

The British journalist said it had been “incredible to occupy the chair during a time of such huge change” in British politics.

She is set to leave her current role around Easter 2022 and the BBC will look to appoint her successor in the coming months.

Excitement has been building about who will step into her role so who could be in the running for her position?

Jon Sopel

BBC Correspondent Jon Sopel (Stephen Voss)
BBC Correspondent Jon Sopel (Stephen Voss)

Jon Sopel’s return from the US after six years as the BBC’s North America editor has sparked rumours he could be Laura Kuenssberg’s successor.

Prior to covering US elections and hurricanes, he had a long stint of being one of the lead news anchors in London. He presented on the BBC News Channel, The Politics Show and Global with Jon Sopel.

Sopel has presented from around the world on major events - from Rome for the installation of the new Pope, South Africa for the funeral of Nelson Mandela and from conflicts in the Middle East, Iraq and Afghanistan.

In October, he posted on social media: “Some personal news: I’m off.. After 7+ fab years in DC, 3 books, 3 presidents (one kept me busier than others) it’s time to return to the UK and BBC mothership. Planning a long break. New book, maybe - but most of all for us to get to Aus to meet our first grandchild, Eliza.”

Emily Maitlis

 (PA Media)
(PA Media)

Emily Maitlis is the lead presenter on BBC’s Newsnight and she is known for her infamous interview with Prince Andrew in 2019 which saw him step back from his public role days later.

She has presented general elections for the BBC and sought high-profile interviews such as with the former US President Donald Trump.

Previously, Maitlis spent six years reporting from the Far East. She was based in Hong Kong - speaks Spanish, French and Italian.

Adding to her achievements, she is also the author of a recent book about her years as a Newsnight presenter.

Vicki Young

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

BBC chief political correspondent Vicki Young has been backed by Andrew Marr as Kuenssberg’s successor.

He said: “I think she would be brilliant, she is a real talent and it would be great to see her in the job.”

Her career at the BBC began as a reporter at BBC Wales before joining the One O’Clock News as a political correspondent.

She was then a correspondent for BBC Breakfast from 2008 to 2011.

In 2014, she served as a sit-in reporter for Daily Politics and has also reported for BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 5 Live.

In 2015, Young was promoted to the role of BBC News’ chief political correspondent.

Amol Rajan

 (PA)
(PA)

Amol Rajan became the BBC’s first media editor in 2016 and he is a presenter on BBC Radio 4’s flagship Today programme.

His media career began as a researcher on Channel 5’s The Wright Stuff before he joined The Independent newspaper.

There, he became the youngest editor of a broadsheet in British history aged 29 - as well as the first non-white editor.

Rajan also recently fronted the BBC Two documentary The Princes and the Press which saw him issue an apology for comments he made in regards to the royal family back in 2012.

Faisal Islam

 (Channel 4)
(Channel 4)

Manchester-born Faisal Islam joined the BBC as economics editor in 2019.

Previously, he worked as Sky News’ political editor as well as economics editor at Channel 4 News and The Observer.

Islam has won multiple awards including three Royal Television Society awards.

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