Who is Laura Kuenssberg, what’s her Twitter and how much does she earn? The BBC’s first female political editor – all you need to know

Who is Laura Kuenssberg, what’s her Twitter and how much does she earn? The BBC’s first female political editor – all you need to know

- in Usa News

LAURA Kuenssberg is an award-winning journalist and the first woman to be appointed political editor at the BBC.

She was given bodyguards after being targetted by sexist trolls, and in the latest scandal Twitter users have called for her sacking – accusing her of bias.

Laura Kuenssberg suffered a slip of the tongue on election night

Laura Kuenssberg suffered a slip of the tongue on election night[/caption]

Who is Laura Kuenssberg?

Laura was born in Italy in 1976, while her dad, Nick Kuenssberg OBE, was working for British thread manufacturers the Coats Group.

She comes from a powerful family – Laura’s grandad was the German-born founder and president of the Royal College of General Practitioners (GPs), Dr Ekkehard von Kuenssberg.

While her granddad on her mum’s side, Lord Roberton, was a High Court judge.

Laura grew up in Glasgow with her brother and diplomat sister Joanna Kuenssberg, who is the High Commissioner of the UK to Mozambique.

Joanna, who is three years older than Laura, was born in Lima, Peru, thanks to her dad’s travelling job.

Laura went to Laurel Park School, an all-girls’ private school, before doing a degree in history at University of Edinburgh.

She then left for Washington DC, USA, where Laura studied journalism before landing a job with NBC News.

Laura Kuenssberg
Laura winning the News and Factual Award, at the Sky Women In Film & TV Awards, in December 2016
Getty Images

What is her Twitter and why was #sacklaurakuenssberg trending?

Laura Kenssberg is a big name on Twitter, with 1.1m followers.

She faced backlash when she reported how an angry dad who confronted Boris Johnson over the NHS, and Tweeted that he was a Labour activist.

Labour activist, Omar Salem told Boris his experience of Whipps Cross University Hospital had been “unacceptable,” citing the NHS crisis, under-staffing and under-funding.

He made the statement in front of cameras and hospital staff.

Salem was on the ward with his one-week-old baby daughter, who was receiving treatment there.

The pair had an awkward exchange with the flustered PM bizarrely claiming there were no media on the ward after Salem accused him of visiting the ward for a press opportunity – despite the fact the exchange was captured on camera.

However, Twitter users were quick to accuse the BBC political editor of bias and she received a barrage of criticism.

The hashtag, #sacklaurakuenssberg was trending on the social media site, alongside the journalist’s name on September 19.

However, in Salem’s Twitter bio describes himself as a: “Labour activist campaigning against Brexit and for a socialist Europe.”

But the BBC released a statement in defence of their political editor.

The statement read: “Laura is a journalist who uses social media as part of her job.

“Like many others, Laura tweeted a thread by Omar Salem, who had written himself about his encounter with the Prime Minister on social media and describes himself as a Labour activist.

“Any suggestion there was malicious intent behind her tweets are absurd.”

What does Laura Keunssberg’s career look like?

After returning to Britain, Laura worked for local radio and cable TV channels in Glasgow – as well as doing reporting work for Channel 4.

She then landed a job with BBC North East and Cumbria in March 2000.

Laura was later made the chief political correspondent for the Beeb, and led the channel’s coverage of the May 2010 General Election and subsequent formation of David Cameron’s Coalition government.

In September 2011, Laura left the BBC for the newly created role as business editor with ITV news, and broadcast her first News at Ten segment in August 2013.

She returned to the BBC to present Newsnight in February 2014 – and was appointed as the political editor in July 2015.

She’s been a voice of authority during Brexit – and backed up The Sun’s bombshell front page which claimed the Queen has voiced Eurosceptic views.

Laura Kuenssberg
Laura pictured outside the Houses of Parliament in July 2015
Rex Features

How much does she earn?

The BBC revealed its “talent list” which showcases its high-earners bringing in more than £150,000 on July 19.

Salaries of the corporation’s top earners were released so license fee payers can know where their money is going.

However, the BBC has come under fire for the large gender pay gap among their employees with Chris Evans earning £2.2million a year – four times more than its highest paid woman, Claudia Winkleman.

Only a third of its top earners are women, sparking an equality row which Director-General Tony Hall has vowed to address.

Laura is listed as earning between £200,000 and £249,999.

Besides the Twitter storm, has Laura Kuenssberg been involved in any other controversy?

In January 2016, Laura helped arrange for Labour MP Stephen Doughty to publicly announce his resignation as shadow foreign minister on the Daily Politics show.

The move prompted an official complaint from Seumas Milne, the Labour Party’s director of communications, which was rejected by the BBC.

After the 2016 local elections, a petition on 38 Degrees accused Laura of being biased against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn – and called for her dismissal.

It was later withdrawn by 38 Degrees, because of sexist and hateful comments made about the journo.

Laura Kuenssberg
The BBC recently upheld a complaint about impartiality and accuracy – which was made against Laura in relation to an interview with Jeremy Corbyn
BBC News & Current Affairs

In January 2017, the BBC Trust ruled that Laura broke the broadcaster’s impartiality and accuracy guidelines in an interview with Corbyn in November 2015.

It was said that Laura’s News at Six segment was edited to wrongly give the impression that Corbyn disagreed with the use of firearms by police in incidents such as the Paris terror attacks.

Laura also suffered an x-rated slip of the tongue when she accidentally dropped the C-bomb while discussing the general election result on Thursday 8 June.

Who is Laura Kuenssberg married to?

She is married to management consultant James Kelly, who also studied at Edinburgh – as well as Harvard.

The couple live in East London.

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