Laura Kuenssberg

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Laura Kuenssberg
Laura Kuenssberg and Rachel Reeves MP.jpg
Kuenssberg at Policy Exchange in 2012
Born Laura Juliet Kuenssberg
1976 (age 39–40)
Education Edinburgh University
Georgetown University
Occupation Political Editor of BBC News, Journalist
Spouse(s) James Kelly

Laura Juliet Kuenssberg (born 1976) is a British 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][2]

Early life and education[edit]

The daughter of Scottish businessman Nick Kuenssberg, OBE,[3][4] and his wife Sally Kuenssberg, CBE,[5] her paternal grandfather was the German-born founder and president of the Royal College of General Practitioners, Dr. Ekkehard von Kuenssberg. Her maternal grandfather, Lord Robertson, was a High Court of Justiciary judge. Her great-uncle was the last British Governor General of Nigeria, Sir James Wilson Robertson.

Kuenssberg was born in Italy, while her father was working there for Coats Viyella.[6] She grew up in Glasgow, with her brother and sister,[7] and attended Laurel Park School, an independent girls' school.[8]

Kuenssberg studied history at the University of Edinburgh, followed by a journalism course at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.,[9] where she worked on an NBC News political programme.

Her brother is a senior civil servant in the Department for Communities and Local Government. Her sister is a diplomat and was appointed as the UK High Commissioner to Mozambique in 2014.[9][10]


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,[11] and produced segments for the social affairs editor Niall Dickson. Kuenssberg reported for Channel 4 News prior to moving to the BBC.

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".[12]

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.[13] 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.[14][15]

In July 2015, she was appointed as the BBC's political editor, the first woman to hold the position.[8][16]

In January 2016, she 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, the BBC's head of live political programmes.[17]

Following the 2016 local elections, a petition on 38 Degrees was begun, which accused Kuenssberg of being biased against the Labour Party and its leader Jeremy Corbyn, and called for her dismissal.[18] The petition was later withdrawn by David Babbs, executive director of 38 Degrees, who cited an association with "sexist and hateful abuse made towards Laura Kuenssberg" on other social media websites such as Twitter.[19][20]

Personal life[edit]

Kuenssberg is married to James Kelly,[8] and lives in East London.[21]


  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". Retrieved 20 May 2010. 
  7. ^ "Nick Kuenssberg". Frost's Scottish Who's Who. Retrieved 20 May 2010. 
  8. ^ a b c Rushton, Katherine; Robinson, Martin (22 July 2015). "Newsnight star is first lady of BBC politics: Laura Kuenssberg becomes corporation's new political editor". Daily Mail. 
  9. ^ a b "Laura Kuenssberg: BBC appoints first female political editor". The Week. 23 July 2015. Retrieved 23 January 2016. 
  10. ^ "British High Commissioner to Mozambique – Joanna Kuenssberg". Retrieved 23 January 2016. 
  11. ^ Royal Television Society – RTS in your area Archived September 25, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  12. ^ Aaronovitch, David (13 May 2010). "New Politics is here. Now let's have new votes". The Times. London. Retrieved 20 May 2010. 
  13. ^ "ITV announces Laura Kuenssberg as Business Editor". London: 22 June 2011. Retrieved 22 June 2011. 
  14. ^ Is Labour facing Glasgow upset? BBC News, 11 November 2009
  15. ^ Plunkett, John (13 November 2013). "BBC Newsnight recruits ITV's Laura Kuenssberg". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 November 2013. 
  16. ^ "Laura Kuenssberg has been appointed the BBC's new Political Editor". BBC Media Centre. BBC. Retrieved 24 July 2015. 
  17. ^ 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. 
  18. ^ Jackson, Jasper (10 May 2016). "Campaign to sack BBC's Laura Kuenssberg accused of sexism". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 May 2016. 
  19. ^ Jackson, Jasper (10 May 2016). "Laura Kuenssberg petition taken down over sexist abuse". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 May 2016. 
  20. ^ 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. 
  21. ^ "Laura Kuenssberg". BBC. Retrieved 2 July 2014. 

External links[edit]

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