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BBC fury as Laura Kuenssberg’s Today Programme move torn apart: ‘So much for reform’

Laura Kuenssberg savages Keir Starmer on 'abandoning pledges'

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The BBC’s Political Editor is reportedly “in talks” to step down from her role after six years and become a presenter on the Today Programme. The deal has yet to be signed off and there has been no confirmed time frame, but her departure is set to leave a major vacancy in the BBC.

Traditionally, political editors at the BBC are often moved to senior presenting roles ahead of general elections.

This allows their successors to get used to the position before a vote is held, the Guardian reported.

Her move will come amid a major shake-up of senior staff at the BBC.

Jon Sopel is stepping down as North America editor and will be returning to the UK.

Mr Sopel’s return to the UK means he is also a candidate to be the new BBC political editor, after being previously connected to the job back in 2015.

In his latest column in the Telegraph, Robin Aitken, has lashed out at the BBC for not sticking to reform promised by director-general Tim Davie.

Mr Aitken wrote: “The director-general, Tim Davie, has pinned his colours to the mast marked ‘reform’.

“In particular, he sees a restoration of the BBC’s reputation for impartiality as his number one priority.

“Framed in that context, vacancies in two of the most important journalistic roles at the Corporation might be thought to present an opportunity; depending on who is selected, a message about a renewed commitment to even-handedness could be sent.

“Yet the reality is different. In terms of the existential problem facing the Corporation, these appointments will make little difference, and an understanding of the history of these jobs helps to explain why.”

Writing “so much for reform” Mr Aitken went on to say how the choice of a new political editor “will be high-profile” and Mr Davie will be keen to avoid any controversy.

He continued: “The ideal candidate might be a diligent plodder with no discernible politics whatsoever: someone whose prime qualification is blandness.”

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Concluding his comment piece, Mr Aitken accused the BBC of being “political monoculture” and said the corporation has a “diversity problem”.

He said: “But whoever lands these plum journalistic roles, they will not be able, on their own, to solve the BBC’s real problem, which remains the same as it has been for decades: that the Corporation is a political monoculture.

“The output – in news, drama and every other category – faithfully reflects the politics of BBC people, who are, overwhelmingly, liberal progressives, ever-ready and willing to assist with the next campaign.

“The BBC has a diversity problem that is nothing to do with skin colour or sexual orientation.

“Changing that culture, if it can be done at all, will not depend on who gets the political editor’s job.”

Last month, Ms Kuenssberg came under fire from BBC viewers after she travelled to New York to interview Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Following her interview, the BBC was inundated with complaints.

Samira Ahmed detailed complaints from BBC viewers on an instalment of Newswatch.

Ms Ahmed went on to read out a complaint sent in from BBC viewer Sandra Hickman.

The statement read: “Could you please explain why it was necessary for Laura Kuenssberg to fly to the USA to interview the Prime Minister, when you already have American correspondents in place and then to ask questions totally unrelated to his visit?”

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