Laura Kuenssberg

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Person.png Laura Kuenssberg   TwitterRdf-icon.png
(TV journalist)
Laura Kuenssberg.jpg
Kuenssberg hosting the Labour leadership debate on 17 June 2015
BornLaura Juliet Kuenssberg
1976
Italy
ResidenceLondon,  UK
NationalityBritish
Alma materUniversity of Edinburgh, Georgetown University
SpouseJames Kelly

Employment.png BBC Political Editor

In office
22 July 2015 - Present

Laura Kuenssberg is a Scottish TV journalist who hosted the televised Labour Party leadership debate on 17 June 2015.[1]

She was appointed Political Editor of BBC News on 22 July 2015, the first woman to hold the position.[2][3]

In January 2016, in a veiled reference to Laura Kuenssberg, the former Political Editor Nick Robinson wrote to colleagues warning them against anti-Corbyn bias in the BBC's political coverage.[4]

By May 2017, a Change.org petition calling for the immediate sacking of Laura Kuenssberg from the BBC had attracted over 21,000 signatories.[5]

Exclusive Cox interview

On 21 June 2016, Laura Kuenssberg scooped an exclusive TV interview with Brendan Cox, only edited extracts of which were broadcast by the BBC.[6]

Politics Home published selected "quotes from Brendan Cox's interview with BBC News about his late wife, Jo Cox."[7]

How soon after the EU Referendum vote on 23 June 2016, the full interview - including Kuenssberg's inevitable sniping against the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn - will be broadcast, remains to be seen.

Biased against Corbyn

On social media Laura Kuenssberg has been accused of conducting a series of politically-biased attacks on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.[8] Kuenssberg's extended interview with Corbyn on 16 November 2015 (three days after the terrorist attacks in Paris) is regarded as initiating her campaign.[9]

On 10 May 2016, an online petition with 33,375 signatures calling for Laura Kuenssberg to be sacked from her role as BBC Political Editor was scrapped by 38 Degrees, reported by The Guardian as saying it had become a focal point for misogynist abuse.[10] At PMQs on 11 May 2016 David Cameron denounced the petition as "sexist".[11] When Craig Murray, one of the signatories, asked for evidence of this sexism he was refused.[12] Murray said:

"Laura Kuenssberg is I think the most openly biased journalist I have ever seen on the BBC, particularly in her very obvious vindictive hatred of Jeremy Corbyn and of Scottish Independence. Nobody seriously believes the BBC actually would remove her even if the petition reached a million. The continued process of stigmatisation of decent dissidents as 'antisemitic' or 'misogynist' is characteristic of a society in which deviating from the political line is rewarded with social stigma and exclusion."[13]

On 11 May 2016, a petition demanding that 38 Degrees "cite the 'sexist abuse' evidence for scrapping our Laura Kuenssberg petition", and "convey full details individually to each signatory", gained over 500 signatures within 24 hours.[14]

On 2 June 2016, Laura Kuenssberg was booed and hissed as she prepared to question Jeremy Corbyn after he had made a speech on the EU Referendum.[15]

Background

The daughter of Scottish businessman Nick Kuenssberg, OBE,[16] and his wife Sally Kuenssberg, CBE,[17] her paternal grandfather was German-born Dr Ekkehard von Kuenssberg, a founder and president of the Royal College of General Practitioners. Her maternal grandfather was Lord Robertson, a High Court of Justiciary judge. Her great-uncle was Sir James Robertson, the last colonial Governor-General of Nigeria.

Laura Kuenssberg was born in Italy, while her father was assigned there by Coats Viyella.[18] She grew up in Glasgow, with her brother and sister,[19] and attended Laurel Bank School, an independent girls' school.[20]

Kuenssberg's sister Joanna is reported to be working for the Conservative Party as High Commissioner to Mozambique having formerly served at the British Embassy in Lisbon, while her brother reportedly works for the Conservative Party as a civil servant in the Department of Communities and Local Government.[21]

Education

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

Career

After returning to UK, 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, 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, The Daily Politics and the BBC News Channel. 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."[22]

In September 2011 Kuenssberg took up the newly created role of business editor for ITV News and contributed towards business reporting on ITV's current affairs strand, Tonight.[23] On 27 August 2013 she made her debut co-newscasting ITV News at Ten alongside 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.[24][25]

In July 2015 she was appointed the BBC's political editor, the first woman to hold the position.[26]

References

  1. "Labour leadership hustings to be shown live on BBC's Newsnight"
  2. "BBC names Laura Kuenssberg as BBC political editor". BBC News. 22 July 2015. Retrieved 22 July 2015.

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  3. Plunkett, John (22 July 2015). "Laura Kuenssberg confirmed as the BBC's first female political editor". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 July 2015.

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  4. "Laura Kuenssberg gets Corbynistas in a spin over reshuffle scoop"
  5. "The immediate sacking of Laura Kuenssberg from the BBC"
  6. "Brendan Cox says politics was behind Jo's death"
  7. "Transcript: Brendan Cox interview with BBC News"
  8. "Bring back news to the BBC"
  9. "Jeremy Corbyn 'not happy' with shoot-to-kill policy"
  10. "Laura Kuenssberg petition taken down over sexist abuse"
  11. "David Cameron condemns 'sexist' petition against BBC Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg"
  12. "38 Degrees Refuse to Release Evidence of 'Sexist Abuse' of Laura Kuenssberg"
  13. "The Establishment Rallies Around Kuenssberg"
  14. "Cite the 'sexist abuse' evidence for scrapping our Laura Kuenssberg petition"
  15. "Corbyn supporters boo BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg"
  16. "Nick Kuenssberg". Debretts. Retrieved 2010-05-20.

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  17. "Sally Kuenssberg, CBE". BBC Scotland. 1999-12-31. Retrieved 2010-05-20.

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  18. "Nick Kuenssberg". caplus.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-05-20.

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  19. "Nick Kuenssberg". Frost's Scottish Who's Who. Retrieved 2010-05-20.

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  20. 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.

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  21. "Bullingdon Broadcasting Corporation: Through The Keyhole"
  22. Aaronovitch, David (2010-05-13). "New Politics is here. Now let's have new votes". London: The Times. Retrieved 2010-05-20.

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  23. "ITV announces Laura Kuenssberg as Business Editor". London: ITN.co.uk. 2011-06-22. Retrieved 2011-06-22.

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  24. "Is Labour facing Glasgow upset?" BBC News, 11 November 2009
  25. Plunkett, John (2013-11-13). "BBC Newsnight recruits ITV's Laura Kuenssberg". The Guardian. Retrieved 2013-11-12.

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  26. "Laura Kuenssberg has been appointed the BBC's new Political Editor". BBC Media Centre. BBC. Retrieved 24 July 2015.

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Further reading

External links

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