Connect with us


Laura Kuenssberg in talks to step down as BBC political editor

Laura Kuenssberg

Laura Kuenssberg in talks to step down as BBC political editor

Laura Kuenssberg is in talks to step down as BBC political editor after six years and become a presenter on the Today programme as part of a major reshuffle of senior on-air staff.

Although the deal has yet to be signed off and there is no confirmed timeframe, her departure would leave a vacancy in one of the most powerful positions in British journalism at a time when the government is still negotiating the future of the BBC licence fee and trying to shape its news agenda.

Kuenssberg’s tenure as BBC political editor, during which she has covered a febrile period of politics including the Brexit referendum and two general elections, has coincided with unprecedented scrutiny of how the BBC’s political journalism shapes the national news agenda.

She found a new audience by appearing on the Brexitcast podcast throughout the lengthy negotiations on the UK’s departure from the EU but also faced accusations of bias from across the political spectrum. In 2017, after concerns about her safety, she was forced to attend the autumn party conference season with a bodyguard.

BBC political editors are often moved to senior presenting jobs well ahead of general elections, enabling their successors to get used to the position before a vote is held. A move by Kuenssberg to the Today programme would leave the Radio 4 morning political show with six hosts, although some presenters have contracts to present more shows than others.

As part of the reshuffle of leading BBC journalists, Jon Sopel is stepping down as North America editor and returning to the UK. He is tipped to be replaced in Washington DC by Sarah Smith, the current BBC Scotland editor and occasional Today presenter.

Smith’s potential departure would in turn open up a vacancy leading national coverage of Scotland at a time when the corporation is perceived to need a prominent individual to show the BBC’s commitment to the country amid blunt criticism from the SNP government.

Sopel’s return to the UK also means he is now a candidate to be the new BBC political editor, having been connected to the job back in 2015. At that time the job instead went to Kuenssberg, who became the first woman to hold the position of BBC political editor.

One BBC individual who is not moving jobs is Andrew Marr, who has been given a fresh contract to continue presenting his eponymous Sunday morning political interview show. Sources suggested part of the reason for this is his work producing BBC programmes that will be broadcast when the Queen dies.

How to cover this inevitable and era-defining news story is increasingly playing a role in shaping the BBC’s planning for the next few years. Coverage of the end of the monarch’s life is due to be presented by the News at Ten host Huw Edwards, although he recently suggested he was considering his future as host of the corporation’s evening flagship show.

Working out how best to deploy on-air presenters as the BBC’s news operation becomes less focused on specific programmes will be part of the challenge for the BBC’s new head of news, with applications for that job due to close on Friday.

A BBC spokesperson 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.”

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

thirteen − 4 =


I Will Soon Start Signing Death Warrants- Bala Mohammed

Bauchi state governor, Bala Mohammed has disclosed that he will soon start to sign death warrants.

Mohammed made this known on Friday in Bauchi while signing the Violence against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) bill and a bill for the establishment of the Bauchi state penal code, into law.

In Nigeria, state governors are legally backed to sign the death warrants.

Since 2012, no governor has been reported to have signed death warrants.

“We will soon be signing some death sentences because there are many and because of justice which has to be taken to a logical conclusion

“I know some governors are running away from signing the death sentences because they exercise restraints on the basis that there may be some element of error.

“But to me, I will leave it to my lord (the chief judge) who will prosecute. It’s not my fault. If it is brought to my attention, I will do it.”

“As for the Violence against Persons Prohibition Act, we know that we are the first in the northern part of the country to enact the law, which is a member’s bill incidentally from the honourable speaker, and it has earned us a lot of respect in the country.

“But because of some noticed gaps, it was taken back and it was corrected. We thank the house for making the corrections.”

Continue Reading


Court Sacks 13 Ebonyi LG Bosses, 171 Councilors

A Federal High Court sitting in Abakaliki has again nullified the Ebonyi Local Government Elections and sacked all the 13 Council chairmen in the state.

The court also sacked all the councilors and 171 ward chairmen of the state.

The court had on Aug. 25, nullified the council polls of May 31.

Ruling on the matter with suit NO: FHC/AI/CS/224/2022 on Friday, Justice Fatun Riman ordered the seizure of the monthly federal allocation of the chairmen pending when rightful Chief Executives were elected into office.

Fatun restated that the councils election by the State Independent Electoral Commission (EBSIEC) on May 31 was illegal and unconstitutional.

Mr Mudi Erenede, Counsel to the plaintiff said he was happy over the judgment and commended the court.

“In the judgement today, the court has agreed that the Ebonyi State High court has no powers to override or set aside the judgment of the Federal High Court because it is not an Appeal Court.

“Those people, who are parading themselves as chairmen are not there legally.

“They were appointed by whoever that appointed them. CBN, Attorney General of the Federation, Federal Ministry of Finance are all defendants in this suits,” he stated.

The counsel to Ebonyi State Government, Mr Roy Nweze, said there was no need responding to a judgment that had already been delivered by the court.

Nweze said that the matter would be appealed without delay.


Continue Reading


Naval College Graduates 245 Officers, Personnel

The newly graduated personnel of the Officers’ Application Course 20 of the Nigerian Naval Engineering College (NNEC), Sapele in Delta, have been urged to remain committed to the service of the nation.

Rear Adm. Monday Unurhiere, the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Naval Training Command, made the plea at the graduation ceremony of the 245 Under Training Personnel of the Officers’ Application Course 20 in Sapele.

Unurhiere, represented by Rear Adm. Baratuaipri Iyalla, said that the call became necessary in view of the security, economic and social challenges currently facing the country.

The naval chief urged the graduands to make deliberate efforts to improve themselves on the job by way of taking advantage of modern technology and also tapping into the wealth of experience of their superiors.

“Let me remind you that as officers of the Nigerian Navy, you are charged with enormous responsibility and your unswerving allegiance is to the Nation.

“The confidence reposed in you must not be taking for granted, especially at this time that our national aspirations are being threatened by numerous security, economic and social challenges.

“As such, you may find yourself being called upon to serve beyond your technical capability due to the prevailing situation in the country,” he said.

Unurhiere acknowledged the efforts of the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Adm. Awwal Gambo, for creating the enabling environment for training and continued financial support to NNEC.

According to him, this has helped the College to contribute more to the technological advancement of Nigerian Navy and the nation at large.

He urged the graduands, especially the under training personnel, to maintain the current tempo in sustaining training and other naval activities.

Continue Reading