BBC's Laura Kuenssberg steps down as political editor

It's time for the next move, she says

Laura Kuenssberg will step down as the BBC's political editor next year. PA
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BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg has announced she is stepping down from the role after seven years in the job.

But she will stay at the organisation and will continue presenting and reporting.

Kuenssberg will leave the role next Easter to take up a new position that will be across TV, radio and online.

“I've been so lucky to do the best daily reporting job in the business, with the best colleagues anyone could wish for," said the renowned journalist.

"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 said 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.

“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,” said BBC director general Tim Davie.

“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.”

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 UK Government's response to the pandemic and two general elections.

“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,” said Fran Unsworth, departing director of news.

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

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.

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

Updated: December 20, 2021, 2:22 PM