Laura Kuenssberg to step down as BBC political editor

·3-min read

Laura Kuenssberg has announced she is stepping down as the BBC’s political editor after seven years in the job.

She will leave the role next Easter to take up a senior presenting and reporting position across the corporation that will take in TV, radio and online.

Kuenssberg, who was raised in Glasgow, succeeded Nick Robinson as political editor in 2015 – becoming the first woman to hold the position.

She has covered major events including the Brexit referendum, the Government’s response to the pandemic and two general elections.

According to the corporation’s most recent annual report, Kuenssberg earned between £260,000 and £264,999 for the role.

She previously served as the BBC’s chief political correspondent and was the first business editor of ITV News.

The BBC has not yet begun recruiting for her successor but said it planned to launch a “competitive” process.

Kuenssberg said: “I’ve been so lucky to do the best daily reporting job in the business, with the best colleagues anyone could wish for. It’s been incredible to occupy the chair during a time of such huge change and to try to make sense of it for our viewers, listeners and readers online.

“I’ll miss the daily drama, and our wonderful team in Westminster, immensely. But after nearly seven years and what feels like decades’ worth of headlines, it’s time for the next move.”

Kuenssberg added on Twitter that she was taking a break from work over Christmas but promised “PLENTY of news to come over the next few weeks and while I’m still in the chair until April”.

The move comes amid changes in the BBC’s on-air staff, with Andrew Marr leaving the corporation for media company Global and Jon Sopel stepping down as North America editor after seven years in the role.

Sopel, whose return to the UK sparked speculation he could take over Kuenssberg’s role, was among the people posting messages on social media following the news, tweeting: “Laura – as they say where I’ve been living all the time you’ve been pol ed: you smashed it out of the park. What an astonishing run you’ve had x.”

Director-general Tim Davie said: “Laura has been an outstanding BBC political editor throughout the most turbulent political times in living memory. Her incisive commentary, tough questioning and astute insight have guided our audiences through the last seven years.

“She’s a superb interviewer and engaging presenter, and I’m thrilled that we are keeping her on our screens and airwaves. I’m looking forward to her next chapter.”

The BBC’s outgoing director of news, Fran Unsworth, said: “Laura’s a born journalist and she’s done an amazing job as political editor. She’s an energetic and determined story-getter, who gets straight to the heart of the issue and knows exactly the right questions to ask.

“Our political coverage would have been immeasurably poorer without Laura as political editor. We’re lucky to have her.”

Her departure leaves open the key role of political editor at a time when the future of the BBC licence fee is being negotiated.

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