Laura kuenssberg

Watch: Ed Davey confronted by word cloud

The Lib Dem conference is well underway and the party has a spring in its step. After four by-election gains in this parliament, there’s much excited talk in the conference bars about the party doubling their MPs next year. So what’s behind the orange surge? Clearly, er, not their less-than-charismatic leader. Sir Ed Davey was wheeled out on the BBC this morning for his annual hit interview. And Victoria Derbyshire opted to use the occasion to show the Kingston MP just what voters think of him. Davey was confronted by a striking ‘word cloud’ of the words most associated with him. They are, in descending order, ‘Don’t know’, ‘no idea’

Kwasi Kwarteng is a politician from a different age

Liz Truss doesn’t waste energy on unnecessary emotion. At the announcement of her victory at the QE2 Centre, she ditched the convention of hugging your partner and shaking hands with the runner-up. Instead she grabbed her notes from her husband Hugh O’Leary and marched past Rishi Sunak without a second glance. No time for sentimentality! Different from Johnson, surrounded by his siblings and ubiquitous father, or the uxorious Cameron and doting May. She knifed to the microphone with the same steely determination she showed all those decades ago when she told the Lib Dem conference to abolish the monarchy. The script has changed, the focus has not. Just before midnight

BBC political editor race descends into farce

It’s the best comedy the BBC has made in years. The twists and turns of the race to be the corporation’s next political editor have kept all of Westminster agog for months. Now, after a three month recruitment process whittled down the candidates to two outsiders, BBC bosses have decided that, er, that their preferred candidate may be in W1A after all. For Yorkshireman Chris Mason has re-emerged in recent days as the frontrunner to replace Laura Kuenssberg. The presenter of Radio 4’s Any Questions? ruled himself out of the running in January, but has been persuaded to put himself forward amid rumours that bosses do not wish to appoint either of the

BBC political editor race narrows to final four

Laura Kuenssberg leaves her post at the end of this month, with the incumbent BBC political editor receiving a suitable send-off from her female lobby colleagues last night. After nearly seven years in the post, Kuenssberg will step down from the biggest job in political journalism on 31 March. But can anyone fill her shoes? Efforts to replace her thus far have resembled something like Wacky Races as candidate after candidate has cleared the pitch – whether by personal volition or the BBC powers that be. Early favourite Vicki Young declined to put herself forward while Yorkshireman Chris Mason opted to keep his Any Questions? slot. Paul Brand and Beth

BBC advertise for new Laura K

Roll up, roll up: the biggest prize in political journalism is up for grabs. Laura Kuenssberg is stepping down as BBC political editor after more than six-and-a-half years, which means a bun fight over who gets to replace her. Highly-rated internal candidates include Jon Sopel and Alex Forsyth, after the favourite, Kuenssberg’s deputy Vicki Young, ruled herself out of the race. The job advert went live six hours ago so Mr S has been taking a dive into what the corporation wants from its political editor in 2022. Scoop-getting is clearly top of the bill, with the Beeb demanding ‘a strong track record of breaking stories first’ and ‘an extensive contacts book at


Watch out Laura! Corbynistas strengthen ties with Robert Peston

Even though Robert Peston has only been in his new job as ITV’s political editor for little more than a week, he has already managed to slip-up. On top of experiencing difficulties getting into the ITV building, the former BBC economics editor — who Marr once described as a man ‘crippled by a sense of his own lack of self-worth’ — managed to refer to Liz Kendall as ‘Liz Corbyn’ during one of his first broadcast interviews. However, should any of his former BBC colleagues struggle to take him seriously, they may now need to reconsider. With relations between Labour and the BBC at an all-time low over accusations of anti-Corbyn bias, ITV look set

Is Laura Kuenssberg leaving Westminster?

Is Laura Kuenssberg’s time as BBC political editor coming to an end? That’s the suggestion tonight after the Guardian reported she is in talks to step down from the role and move to a plum gig hosting the Today programme.  Rumours of Kuenssberg’s impending departure have been circulating around Westminster for some time now to little avail. But this time it is being talked up as part of a wider shake up of the Beeb’s lead presenters, with Jon Sopel recently announcing he is ending his US beat and returning to the UK. Rumours of Kuenssberg’s impending departure have been circulating around Westminster for some time now Kuenssberg’s time in

Isabel Hardman

Listen: BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg confronts President Xi over China’s human rights

One of the clever things that politicians try to do is to redefine words and concepts that everyone thought they knew the meaning of. Take today’s ‘press conference’ that David Cameron and Chinese President Xi held in Downing Street. That ‘press conference’ consisted of statements followed by two questions, though dozens of journalists had turned up. Fortunately, the question from the British media came from the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg, who asked the Prime Minister how he thought a British steel worker would feel that the Chinese president was being ‘ferried down Whitehall in a golden carriage’ and whether there is ‘any price that’s worth paying in order to further our

Corbyn cannot just condemn the abuse of those he is friends with

Jeremy Corbyn was generous to the Shadow Cabinet in his conference speech, especially to Diane Abbott, who had a terrible election campaign personally, suffering from problems with her diabetes and horrendous racist and misogynist abuse. The Labour leader led a standing ovation to the Shadow Home Secretary, followed by a rendition of ‘happy birthday’. He told the hall that ‘the campaign by the Tories and their loyal media was nasty and personal. It fuelled abuse online and no one was the target of that more than Diane Abbott.’ Let’s just recall the abuse of Diane Abbott during the election campaign. She said she had been called a ‘n***** bitch’, sent

What the threat to Laura Kuenssberg says about the country we live in

For perfectly understandable reasons, neither she nor her employers want to talk about it, but the fact that Laura Kuenssberg of the BBC is covering the Labour Party conference in Brighton accompanied by a bodyguard is an outrage that has not been greeted with the anger and disgust it merits. Imagine, for a second, if you heard this story – first revealed by Charles Moore in The Spectator earlier this year – about a foreign country. Imagine a country where a journalist could not go about the basic task of reporting a political meeting without fear of physical attack. Would you consider that country to be a fully functioning democracy?

The Spectator’s Notes | 13 July 2017

For some time now, banks have wielded hamfistedly the concept of the ‘politically exposed person’. They have withdrawn bank accounts from — or refused them to — not only kleptocrats from crazy dictatorships but also blameless citizens of parliamentary democracies like our own. Now, I gather, they have started to persecute the fringes of the British royal family. One such royal person tells me that he had to resign from the board of a charity before the bank thought it safe to let it open an account. He adds that he has two royal relations who have been refused accounts. In the case of an American bank, it declined the

Laura Kuenssberg to the rescue

As the government’s omNICshambles unravelled further today with a u-turn from the Chancellor, many have been left wondering why no-one spotted the problem sooner — with the manifesto breach managing to get past brains at both No 10 and No 11. Today in the chamber, Philip Hammond credited none other than Laura Kuenssberg, the BBC’s political editor, with notifying him first of the problem with the pledge: ‘Who first raised the issue of the manifesto? Well, credit where credit is due I think it was actually Laura Kuenssberg on the BBC shortly after I said it in the Budget speech.’ With the SNP’s Alex Salmond later calling on Hammond to give Kuenssberg a

Laura Kuenssberg suggests the Queen did back Brexit

During the EU referendum, the Sun ran a front page with the headline ‘the Queen backs Brexit’. The paper reported that the Queen clashed with Nick Clegg, who was then Deputy Prime Minister, over Europe at a lunch in 2011 — at which she declared the EU was ‘heading in the wrong direction’. In the days and weeks that followed, the paper received much flak over the legitimacy of the story, with blame being pointed in Michael Gove’s direction. In fact, Clegg later used an interview with the BBC to pour scorn on the story: ‘I mean, the idea that the Queen of all people would even bother to give someone as insignificant as

Watch: George Osborne’s former chief of staff drops the Chancellor in it over sugar tax stunt

Of all the pledges in George Osborne’s budget announcement today, the most surprising appeared to be that of the sugar tax. As the tax was unexpected — given that it has been heavily disputed in the past — it will likely get top billing in the Budget coverage in tomorrow’s papers. So, could there be more than meets the eye to the announcement? Given that there was plenty of bad economic news in the Budget — with growth down and extra cuts announced — the sugar tax conveniently distracts from some of the more negative news. While Mr S can’t claim to be one of Osborne’s closest confidantes, happily one such man appeared on the BBC

Laura Kuenssberg gets Corbynistas in a spin over reshuffle scoop

In recent months brains at the BBC have undertaken a number of steps to tackle ‘anti-Corbyn bias’ head on at the corporation. After the Beeb’s former political editor Nick Robinson wrote to colleagues warning them against anti-Corbyn bias in the political coverage, the message was then picked up by the comedy department. Barry Humphries revealed this week that he was told he could not do a planned Corbyn joke on a BBC comedy show — unless he also did one about David Cameron. Alas for all their efforts, it just isn’t enough to keep the angry Corbynistas at bay. Laura Kuenssberg, the BBC’s political editor, has found herself in the firing line this morning after a blog — which has now

Laura Kuenssberg is appointed as the BBC’s new political editor

After weeks of speculation over who will be the BBC’s next political editor, a senior BBC employee today announced on Twitter that Laura Kuenssberg is to be Nick Robinson’s successor. However, just moments later the tweet was hastily deleted. Happily, the Mail’s John Stevens managed to screen grab it before it disappeared: The tweet that mysteriously vanished — John Stevens (@johnestevens) July 22, 2015 While the BBC are declining to comment at this time on whether Laura, who is currently Newsnight‘s chief correspondent, is the new political editor, others have been quick to offer their congratulations: Congrats to @bbclaurak (if reported tweet is true) on taking over from @bbcnickrobinson as @BBCNews political

Place your bets! Bookies reveal favourites to be next BBC political editor

Yesterday Nick Robinson confirmed reports that he is leaving his role as the BBC’s political editor to join the Today programme. Now the race is on to find a worthy successor. Helpfully Ladbrokes have released a rather intriguing list of favourites for the job. Robinson’s deputy political editor James Landale is the favourite for the role at 5/2. David Cameron’s revelation to Landale that he wouldn’t ‘serve a third term’ if re-elected became one of the big stories of the elections. While this ought to win him favour upstairs, Landale has two problems: (a) he is not a woman (b) he is an Old Etonian. It’s thought that — in the interests of

Labour’s ‘attack dog’ turns on Laura Kuenssberg over BBC debate

Last night’s Newsnight Labour leadership debate proved to be a rather dull affair with all four hopefuls failing to make a strong impression. While many were quick to suggest that this was down to lacklustre leadership candidates, party members have come up with a different reason the broadcast failed to impress. Step forward Laura Kuenssberg: Labour’s ‘attack dog‘ Michael Dugher — who is backing Andy Burnham for leader — appeared to point the finger of blame at the Newsnight presenter for her chairing of the debate. The shadow transport secretary, who previously worked closely with Labour spin doctor Damian McBride under Gordon Brown, took to Twitter to complain that ‘she never shut up’: The sentiment was shared

Kuenssberg, Pym, Yueh, Davis, Kennedy, Islam or Perry — who will be the BBC’s next business editor?

My Any Other Business item this week on who’s in the frame to succeed Robert Peston as BBC business editor seems to have caused a bit of a stir. The strong rumour is that the appointment must go to a female candidate, and there’s clearly support for the delightful Laura Kuenssberg, who came to fame reporting the 2010 general election for the BBC but has been a lot less visible since she moved to ITV News as business editor in 2011. Does Pesto think she’s given him a run for his money these past couple of years? I suspect he’d say not, and if I were Laura’s career adviser I’d