Laura Kuenssberg has been named as the BBC’s new political editor, taking over from Nick Robinson.
The Newsnight presenter will become the first woman in the role when Robinson takes up his new post as presenter of Radio 4’s Today programme.
BBC Director-General Tony Hall called Kuenssberg an “exceptional journalist”, adding that “her knowledge of Westminster politics is second to none, but she also has a real flair for asking the questions the audience want answering.
“We’re lucky to have had Nick in the role for ten years now – and a brilliant field of candidates for what is one of the best jobs in broadcasting,” Hall said. “But I’m sure Laura will bring something extra to the role – something of her own style. And I wish her all the very best.”
Kuenssberg has been a presenter on BBC2’s Newsnight since February 2014, and was a key commentator during the election night coverage in May. Before joining Newsnight she had been ITV’s Business Editor from 2011 to 2014.
Kuenssberg said, “I’m completely delighted and I recognise the responsibility on my shoulders. It’s an honour for me to follow Nick Robinson who has been such an outstanding political editor.” She added on Twitter that she was “delighted, shocked and in awe” to be given the role.
Delighted, shocked and in awe of following the peerless @bbcnickrobinson ! Thank you so VERY much for all the kind messages and tweets
— Laura Kuenssberg (@bbclaurak) July 22, 2015
Kuenssberg joined the BBC in 2000 as a trainee journalist in Newcastle, before becoming a political correspondent in 2003. In 2011 she was named chief political correspondent.
Robinson will step down as political editor after ten years in the role, and will replace James Naughtie on Radio 4’s Today programme in the Autumn.
James Naughtie will become a special correspondent for Radio 4 and the Today programme’s books editor.
Newsnight editor Ian Katz congratulated Kuenssberg on Twitter, calling her “clever, hard-working and thoroughly decent”; colleagues Robinson and Evan Davies also took to social media to praise the appointment.
Huge congratulations to stellar @bbclaurak – clever, hard-working and thoroughly decent. Glad she blazed across the Newsnight sky fr a while
— Ian Katz (@iankatz1000) July 22, 2015
— Nick Robinson (@bbcnickrobinson) July 22, 2015
— Evan Davis (@EvanHD) July 22, 2015