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Laura Kuenssberg

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Laura Juliet Kuenssberg born 1976 is a Scottish journalist In July 2015, she was appointed as the political editor of BBC News, the first woman to hold the position, in succession to Nick Robinson


  • 1 Early life and education
  • 2 Career
    • 21 BBC political editor
    • 22 Bias allegations
    • 23 Bodyguard
  • 3 Awards
  • 4 Personal life
  • 5 References
  • 6 External links

Early life and education

She is the daughter of Scottish businessman Nick Kuenssberg, OBE, and his wife Sally Kuenssberg, CBE

Kuenssberg was born in Italy, while her father was working there for Coats Viyella She grew up in Glasgow, with her brother and sister, and attended Laurel Park School, a private girls' school

Kuenssberg studied history at the University of Edinburgh, followed by a journalism course at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, where she worked on an NBC News political programme

Her brother David is executive director of finance and resources at Brighton and Hove City Council Her sister Joanna is a diplomat and was appointed as the British High Commissioner to Mozambique in 2014


After returning to Britain, she worked for local radio and then cable television in Glasgow, before joining BBC North East and Cumbria in March 2000 Kuenssberg won a regional Royal Television Society award for her work as home affairs correspondent, and produced segments for the social affairs editor Niall Dickson

Appointed chief political correspondent for BBC News, Kuenssberg reported for BBC One bulletins, Daily Politics and BBC News In May 2010, her presence was so ubiquitous in the period between the general election and the formation of a coalition government under David Cameron, that journalist David Aaronovitch coined the term "Kuenssbergovision"

In September 2011, Kuenssberg took up the newly created role of business editor for ITV News, and was replaced at BBC News by Norman Smith from BBC Radio 4 She also contributed towards business reporting on ITV's current affairs strand, Tonight On 27 August 2013, she made her debut co-newscasting News at Ten with Alastair Stewart

On 12 November 2013, it was announced that she would leave ITV to return to the BBC, as chief correspondent and a presenter of Newsnight, replacing Gavin Esler in the latter role She joined the Newsnight team in February 2014

BBC political editor

In July 2015, she was appointed as the BBC's political editor, the first woman to hold the position

In January 2016, Kuenssberg was involved in arranging for the Labour MP Stephen Doughty to publicly announce his resignation as a shadow foreign office minister on Daily Politics The incident was the subject of an official complaint from Seumas Milne, the Labour Party's director of communications, which was rejected by Robbie Gibb, then the BBC's head of live political programmes

During a joint press conference with Prime Minister Theresa May and US President Donald Trump, Kuenssberg recalled a number of controversial statements Trump made on the campaign trail, and asked Trump if he had anything to say to UK viewers "worried about you becoming the leader of the free world" Trump jokingly responded, "That's your choice of a question There goes that relationship"

In Kuenssberg's opinion, there are questions about the government's approach to Brexit She wrote in March 2017 of Theresa May government's negotiations with the European Union: "There are no guarantees that the prime minister's aims are the right ones for the country Still less certainty that they can be achieved"

Bias allegations

Following the 2016 local elections, a petition was started on 38 Degrees which accused Kuenssberg of being biased against the Labour Party and its leader Jeremy Corbyn, and called for her dismissal The petition was later withdrawn by David Babbs, executive director of 38 Degrees, who cited concern that it had become a "focal point for sexist and hateful abuse made towards Laura Kuenssberg" on other social media websites such as Twitter although it was acknowledged that this represented "the actions of a small minority"

In January 2017 the BBC Trust ruled that a report in November 2015 by Kuenssberg broke the broadcaster’s impartiality and accuracy guidelines A viewer had complained about her item, which featured an interview with Jeremy Corbyn on the BBC News at Six which was edited to give the incorrect impression that Corbyn disagreed with the use of firearms by police in incidents such as that month's terrorist attacks in Paris His purported answer to a question as broadcast in the report was in fact his reply to a more general unbroadcast question, not specifically about that terrorist attack The BBC Trust said that the inaccuracy was "compounded" when Kuenssberg went on to state that Corbyn's message "couldn't be more different" from that of the prime minister Theresa May, who was about to publish anti-terrorism proposals The trust said that accuracy was particularly important when dealing "with a critical question at a time of extreme national concern"


Charles Moore in The Spectator wrote in July 2017 of being told "informally" that Kuenssberg had received protection from a bodyguard during the 2017 general election The BBC had believed her safety was under threat because of online abuse considered to be mainly from supporters of Jeremy Corbyn The BBC refused to comment about the story The Labour politician Yvette Cooper defended the BBC's political editor: "It’s her job to ask difficult questions It’s her job to be sceptical about everything we say" By the end of the campaign Kuenssberg was also being abused by Conservative and UKIP supporters

At the Labour Party conference in Brighton in September 2017, Kuenssberg was accompanied by a man The Times identified as a former soldier who now works in security for a firm used by the BBC Journalist Jenni Russell, a former BBC editor herself, was quoted in The New York Times about the issue affecting Kuenssberg: “The graphic level of threats to women is quite extraordinary and it’s one of the worst things to have happened in recent British public life” The bodyguard also accompanied her to the Conservative Party conference in Manchester in October 2017

Kuenssberg said at the beginning of November 2017 at a gathering in London that the trolls were attempting to silence her


In November 2016, Kuenssberg was awarded Broadcaster of the Year by the Political Studies Association The prize was in recognition of her contribution to the public understanding of politics, especially surrounding the June 2016 EU Referendum and subsequent developments

At the British Journalism Awards organised by Press Gazette in December 2016, Kuenssberg received the Journalist of the Year award "Kuenssberg deserves this prize for the sheer volume and scope of reporting on some of the biggest changes ever in British politics" said the judges, pointing especially to her coverage of the EU membership referendum and its aftermath

Personal life

Kuenssberg is married to James Kelly, a management consultant who studied in Edinburgh and at Harvard They live in east London

Kuenssberg's earnings as a BBC journalist were in the range £200,000 – £249,999 per annum in July 2017


  1. ^ "BBC names Laura Kuenssberg as BBC political editor" BBC News 22 July 2015 Retrieved 22 July 2015 
  2. ^ Plunkett, John 22 July 2015 "Laura Kuenssberg confirmed as the BBC's first female political editor" The Guardian Retrieved 23 July 2015 
  3. ^ "Nick Kuenssberg" Debretts Retrieved 20 May 2010 
  4. ^ Kristy Dorsey 4 March 2013 "Business interview: Nick Kuenssberg" The Scotsman Retrieved 23 January 2016 
  5. ^ "Sally Kuenssberg, CBE" BBC Scotland 31 December 1999 Retrieved 20 May 2010 
  6. ^ "Nick Kuenssberg" capluscouk Archived from the original on 21 July 2012 Retrieved 20 May 2010 
  7. ^ "Nick Kuenssberg" Frost's Scottish Who's Who Archived from the original on 28 September 2011 Retrieved 20 May 2010 
  8. ^ Mclellan, John 6 October 2016 "Is the art of flyting still in rude health" The Herald Glasgow Retrieved 9 February 2017 
  9. ^ "Laura Kuenssberg: BBC appoints first female political editor" The Week 23 July 2015 Retrieved 23 January 2016 
  10. ^ "Meet the council's new finance boss – and his famous sister" The Argus 25 January 2016 Retrieved 28 September 2017 
  11. ^ "British High Commissioner to Mozambique – Joanna Kuenssberg" govuk Retrieved 23 January 2016 
  12. ^ Royal Television Society – RTS in your area Archived 25 September 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Aaronovitch, David 13 May 2010 "New Politics is here Now let's have new votes" The Times London Retrieved 20 May 2010 
  14. ^ "ITV announces Laura Kuenssberg as Business Editor" London: ITNcouk 22 June 2011 Archived from the original on 25 June 2011 Retrieved 22 June 2011 
  15. ^ Is Labour facing Glasgow upset BBC News, 11 November 2009
  16. ^ Plunkett, John 13 November 2013 "BBC Newsnight recruits ITV's Laura Kuenssberg" The Guardian Retrieved 12 November 2013 
  17. ^ "Laura Kuenssberg has been appointed the BBC's new Political Editor" BBC Media Centre BBC Retrieved 24 July 2015 
  18. ^ Watt, Nicholas; Sweney, Mark 8 January 2016 "BBC justifies decision to allow Stephen Doughty to resign live on Daily Politics" The Guardian Retrieved 9 January 2016 
  19. ^ Mortimer, Caroline 2017-01-27 "Donald Trump says 'there goes that relationship' when asked a difficult question in press conference with Theresa May" The Independent 
  20. ^ Kuenssberg, Laura 29 March 2017 "Reading between the lines]" BBC News Retrieved 9 May 2017 
  21. ^ Jackson, Jasper 10 May 2016 "Campaign to sack BBC's Laura Kuenssberg accused of sexism" The Guardian Retrieved 10 May 2016 
  22. ^ Jackson, Jasper 10 May 2016 "Laura Kuenssberg petition taken down over sexist abuse" The Guardian Retrieved 10 May 2016 
  23. ^ Babbs, David 11 May 2016 "We took down the Laura Kuenssberg petition to show sexist bullies can't win" The Guardian Retrieved 3 June 2016 
  24. ^ a b Martinson, Jane 18 January 2017 "BBC Trust says Laura Kuenssberg report on Corbyn was inaccurate" The Guardian Retrieved 18 January 2017 
  25. ^ "BBC's Laura Kuenssberg was 'given a bodyguard' during general election campaign" The Telegraph 14 July 2017 Retrieved 23 July 2017 
  26. ^ a b Simpson, Fiona 14 July 2017 "BBC journalist Laura Kuenssberg 'given a bodyguard' after abuse by online trolls during election campaign" London Evening Standard Retrieved 23 July 2017 
  27. ^ Roberts, Rachel 14 July 2017 "BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg 'given bodyguard' following online threats" The Independent Retrieved 23 July 2017 
  28. ^ Fisher, Lucy 25 September 2017 "BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg gets bodyguards" The Times Retrieved 25 September 2017  subscription required
  29. ^ Kingsley, Patrick 27 September 2017 "Why the BBC's Star Political Reporter Now Needs a Bodyguard" The New York Times Retrieved 27 September 2017 
  30. ^ "BBC's Laura Kuenssberg to get bodyguard at Tory party conference" Yahoo News 1 October 2017 Retrieved 4 February 2018 
  31. ^ Doherty, Rosa 1 November 2017 "'They are trying to silence me': BBC's Laura Kuenssberg on the trolls who attack her" The Jewish Chronicle Retrieved 1 November 2017 
  32. ^ "Broadcaster of the Year 2016 - Political Studies Association" Retrieved 30 November 2016 
  33. ^ "BBC's Laura Kuenssberg named journalist of the year" BBC News 7 December 2016 Retrieved 7 December 2016 
  34. ^ Gayle, Damien 7 December 2016 "Guardian scoops three prizes at British Journalism Awards" The Guardian Retrieved 7 December 2016 
  35. ^ "Laura Kuenssberg" BBC Retrieved 2 July 2014 
  36. ^ Chapman, Ben 19 July 2017 "This is how BBC top stars' pay compares to salaries at ITV and Sky" The Independent Retrieved 23 July 2017 

External links

  • Laura Kuenssberg on BBC Online
Media offices
Preceded by
Business Editor: ITV News
Succeeded by
Joel Hills
Preceded by
James Landale
Chief Political Correspondent: BBC News
Succeeded by
Norman Smith
Preceded by
Nick Robinson
Political Editor: BBC News
Succeeded by

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Laura Kuenssberg

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