Laura Kuenssberg to step down as BBC political editor – report

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The BBC has refused to speculate on reports Laura Kuenssberg is stepping down as its political editor to join the Today programme.

The Guardian says Kuenssberg is negotiating stepping away from her role of the past six years as part of a major reshuffle of the BBC’s on-air staff.

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

This week the corporation’s North America editor Jon Sopel said he is returning to the “BBC mothership” after seven years abroad, leading to some speculation he could step into the role of political editor.

He tweeted: “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.”

A BBC spokesman would not be drawn on Kuenssberg, but said in a statement: “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.”

Kuenssberg has been a contentious figure during her tenure as political editor, a time which included the Brexit referendum and two general elections.

She faced accusations of bias from across the political spectrum through the UK’s departure from the EU, and amid concerns for her safety was forced to attend the autumn party conference season with a bodyguard.

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