Laura Kuenssberg ‘in negotiations to step down as BBC political editor’

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Laura Kuenssberg - Jeff Overs/BBC
Laura Kuenssberg - Jeff Overs/BBC

Laura Kuenssberg is in talks to step down from her job as the BBC's political editor, according to reports.

The journalist, who has been in the role for six years, could be replaced and made a presenter of the Today programme, according to claims first reported by Jim Waterson, The Guardian's media editor.

Waterson is the partner of Jess Brammar, the BBC's executive news editor, who took the role in September this year amid controversy about her previous criticism of the Government.

The report suggested a wider reshuffle at the corporation is under way, with Jon Sopel, the North America editor, known to be leaving his role and speculation that other high profile figures are set to change jobs.

A BBC spokesman said: "The North America editor role is currently being advertised internally and the role will go through the normal recruitment process. It's a bit soon to start speculating about the outcome of this, let alone other jobs which aren't actually vacant."

BBCs first female political editor

Senior corporation sources have expressed frustration at the speculation. However, the broadcaster would not confirm on Thursday night whether an inquiry would be launched into the leaked information.

According to The Guardian, Sopel, who has announced that he will be moving back to the UK, will be in the frame for the political editor position should Kuenssberg move on. He would be replaced by Sarah Smith, the current BBC Scotland editor, it has been reported, leaving her position vacant.

Another role that could be left empty is that currently held by Huw Edwards, who is reportedly considering his future. But one understood not to be under discussion is that of Andrew Marr, with inside information suggesting he will be kept in place for royal coverage in the event of the Queen's death.

If Kuenssberg moves to the Today programme, the flagship Radio 4 current affairs show will have a roster of six presenters.

She became the BBC's first female political editor in 2015 and has covered two elections and the Brexit referendum. Accusations of bias led to a petition for her removal from the role over coverage of Jeremy Corbyn, and it was reported that she required a bodyguard during the 2017 election.

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