Watch: Laura Kuenssberg to step down as BBC political editor
Laura Kuenssberg has announced she will step down as the BBC’s political editor at Easter to take on a senior presenting and reporting role.
Kuenssberg has held the role since taking over from Nick Robinson in 2015, becoming the first woman in the position.
Her successor is yet to be announced, but bookies give the shortest odds to Vicky Young, the BBC's deputy political editor.
Kuensseberg 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.”
The BBC’s 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 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.”
In a series of tweets on Monday, Kuenssberg wrote: “Huge thanks to all the viewers, listeners and readers who've shared their stories over the years.
“Your work's only ever as good as your team, and I've been SO lucky to have the very best.
“Anyway, I'm taking a break for Christmas, but there will be PLENTY of news to come over the next few weeks and while I'm still in the chair until April!”
Kuenssberg 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.
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.
Watch: Laura Kuenssberg laughs about Boris Johnson's 'long answers'