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Friday 2 October 2020

What Now For Laura Kuenssberg?

Those who look in regularly on Zelo Street may recall the occasion when a junior shadow minister resigned live on air, just before PMQs. This was then used by then PM Young Dave to taunt then Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Those securing the on-air resignation were the BBC’s political editor Laura Kuenssberg, and then Daily Politics host Andrew Neil. An internal BBC blog called this “Making news on the Daily Politics”.

Making, and not reporting, news. Thus another minus against a political editor who has also looked very likely to have taken dictation from Matthew Elliott after Vote Leave were found to have broken the law. The resulting BBC report downgraded this to a mere breaking of the rules. And while Ms Kuenssberg is still in post, Brillo and the Beeb will finally part company after the US elections next month.

This morning, there were more raised eyebrows after she observed “Oops” when SNP MP Margaret Ferrier was found to have made a train journey from London to Scotland after knowing she had tested positive for Covid-19 - because that Tweet was immediately compared with her helpful explanation of why chief Downing Street polecat Dominic Cummings had not broken lockdown rules, when he, er, had broken lockdown rules.

What has also happened this week is that the BBC has appointed not an assistant political editor, but a deputy political editor. Pointedly not someone assisting Ms Kuenssberg, but someone capable of deputising for her, so not a replacement for Norman Smith. The last BBC deputy political editor, John Pienaar, was in his 60s when he left the Corporation for Murdoch property Times Radio. His successor has age on her side.

It was announced yesterday afternoon that “The BBC has announced that Vicki Young will be the BBC’s new Deputy Political Editor … Vicki Young is currently BBC News’ Chief Political Correspondent … She has worked for the BBC for more than 25 years, starting as a reporter at BBC Wales before joining the parliamentary team at Westminster. She became the BBC's Chief Political Correspondent in 2015”.

Ms Young has risen through the ranks without major fanfare, without fuss, and indeed without the controversy that has occasionally dogged Ms Kuenssberg. And that might just suit new Director General Tim Davie fine. Moreover, she is already taking the kinds of roles that one might have expected Ms Kuenssberg to fill: it is Ms Young who can be seen alongside the host on The Andy Marr Show™ paper review, for example.

So what will Ms Kuenssberg do next? Will she commit to remain at the Corporation, or leave for one more big payday, maybe alongside Brillo at GB News? While such a move would give her critics yet more ammunition - “See, we always said she was right-leaning” - the wad on offer might prove too tempting to turn down.

Right now, my Occam’s Razor is pointing at the Beeb hoping she will jump first, thus enabling them to give a fulsome farewell and avoid further controversy. Watch this space.

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Jonathan said...

Well considering her cozy relationship with Bozza, it isnt too much of leap to see her jump ship to the GB News, she can spout all the propaganda she wants.

Exiled in Ard Mhaca said...

Would Fox News not be more to her liking.

Anonymous said...

Isn't she supposed to hook up with the other bought-and-paid-for tory propagandist twat, Peston?

Anonymous said...

Recently Vicki Young was asked about the government covid shambles by the studio anchor, she completely ignored the question and said how hard the government was working.