BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg is reported to be in discussions about leaving the role to become a presenter on Radio 4’s Today programme.
Among the names within the corporation tipped to replace her is the North America editor, Jon Sopel, who this week revealed he was returning from the US.
Mr Sopel was linked with the political editor post in 2015, when it was given to Kuenssberg, the first woman to have held it. BBC Scotland editor Sarah Smith, who sometimes presents on Today, is in turn being linked with Mr Sopel’s job.
Other names linked with the political editor role include Newsnight policy editor Lewis Goodall, Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis, BBC News host Ben Brown, Radio 4 Today host Amol Rajan and political correspondent Chris Mason.
Previous political editors such as Andrew Marr and Nick Robinson have moved on to presenting jobs at the BBC. Marr has his own Sunday morning show on BBC One, while Robinson is one of the presenters on the Today programme on Radio 4.
Here is who could replace Kuenssberg as political editor, with odds from Betfair:
JON SOPEL (6/4)
Jon Sopel is the favourite to replace Laura Kuenssberg, three days after the corporation’s North America Editor revealed he was returning from the US.
The married father-of-two was first linked with the political editor role in 2015, when it was given to Kuenssberg.
London-born Sopel, 62, joined the BBC in 1983 as a reporter and producer on BBC Radio Solent and has worked in a variety of political roles within the corporation, such as chief political correspondent for BBC News and main presenter on The Politics Show.
BBC Scotland editor Sarah Smith, who sometimes presents on Today, is being linked with Sopel’s North America job.
Sopel tweeted on Tuesday: ‘Some personal news: I’m off.. After 7+ fab years in DC, 3 books, 3 presidents (one kept me busier than others) it’s time to return to the UK and BBC mothership. Planning a long break. New book, maybe – but most of all for us to get to Aus to meet our first grandchild, Eliza.’
LEWIS GOODALL (5/2)
Lewis Goodall has been the policy editor on Newsnight since January 2020, having previously worked for three years at Sky News as political correspondent.
He led Sky’s Brexit and General Election coverage and has made documentaries on British political history such as the Easter Rising, the 1945 election and the legacy of Enoch Powell.
The 32-year-old Oxford graduate, who previously worked in the United States congress, has also previously reported for Newsnight, the Victoria Derbyshire programme and BBC Radio 4
Other previous roles for Birmingham-born Goodall include a researcher for ITV Granada and the Institute for Public Policy Research, while he has also studied abroad in Paris and Beijing.
EMILY MAITLIS (6/1)
Emily Maitlis is the lead presenter on BBC’s Newsnight and is perhaps best known for her bombshell interview with Prince Andrew in 2019 which saw him step back from his public role days later.
During the interview, Andrew failed to show remorse over his friendship with the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein and expressed little empathy for the paedophile’s alleged victims.
Maitlis, 59, an RTS award-winning journalist who spent six years reporting from the Far East, based in Hong Kong – presents general elections for the BBC and speaks Spanish, French and Italian.
But she has faced controversy for perceived breaches of impartiality rules – including a summing up of Dominic Cummings’s lockdown row, saying he had ‘broken the rules’ and ‘the country can see that, and it’s shocked the Government cannot’.
Maitlis also used Newsnight to hit out at claims that coronavirus was a ‘great leveller’ for society as she said the poorest Britons were less likely to survive the pandemic.
BEN BROWN (8/1)
Ben Brown is a main presenter for BBC News who joined the corporation in 1988 and was a foreign affairs correspondent until 1991, reporting on the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Gulf war.
The Oxford graduate was Moscow correspondent from 1991 until 1995, where he witnessed the collapse of communism, and won an RTS award in 2000 for his reporting in Zimbabwe.
Brown was embedded with British troops during the Iraq War in 2003, and wrote a book about his experiences as a war correspondent called ‘Sandstealers’.
Before joining the BBC, Brown worked for Liverpool’s Radio City and Independent Radio News in the 1980s.
EMMA BARNETT (10/1)
Emma Barnett has been the main presenter of Woman’s Hour on Radio 4 since January after joining from her eponymous programme on Radio 5 Live.
She has also presented Newsnight, writes a column for the i newspaper and wrote a book called Period. It’s About Bloody Time about menstruation.
Manchester-born Barnett, who now lives in London with her husband and son, has also presented The Andrew Marr Show, Politics Live and Sunday Morning Live.
In Barnett’s first week on Women’s Hour, guest Kelechi Okafor stormed off the show just two minutes before airtime after claiming she overheard the presenter discussing if she had made anti-Semitic remarks. Barnett, 36, defended herself, saying she stood by her questions to her team and Miss Okafor.
CHRIS MASON (11/1)
Cambridge graduate Chris Mason began his journalism career as a trainee at ITN the week after 9/11, before moving to BBC Radio Newcastle one year later.
Mason also then worked for 5 Live, the Regional Political Unit, the Westminster Hour on Radio 4 and in Brussels as a Europe correspondent.
The 41-year-old from West Yorkshire later become a 5 Live reporter at Westminster, and then a political correspondent in 2012 – a position still his main role now. He has also stood in on Radio 4, 5 live, the World Service and Breakfast TV.
Mason is now the presenter of radio programme Any Questions and is regularly on the podcast Newscast.
AMOL RAJAN (16/1)
Amol Rajan began working as a presenter on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme in May and is also the corporation’s media editor.
Born in India in 1983, he moved to London with his family when he was aged just three. He worked at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on his gap year before studying English at the Cambridge and editing the student newspaper Varsity.
His professional media career began as a researcher on Channel 5’s The Wright Stuff, before he joined The Independent newspaper. There, he rose up the ranks to become the youngest editor of a broadsheet in British history, aged 29 – as well as the first non-white editor.
The cricket enthusiast then moved onto the BBC in 2016, where he has also been a host on Radio 2. The father-of-two, who is married to academic Charlotte Faircloth, also writes for magazines including The Spectator, GQ and New Statesman.
Three other journalists also in the running for the role according to Befair are FAISAL ISLAM (14/1), NICK ROBINSON (16/1) and ANDREW MARR (20/1).
Meanwhile the odds from Coral are as follows: JON SOPEL (3/1), VICKI YOUNG (4/1), AMOL RAJAN (6/1), JAMES LANDALE (8/1), BETH RIGBY (10/1), FAISAL ISLAM (10/1), LEWIS GOODALL (10/1), SARAH SMITH (10/1) and ROBERT PESTON (16/1).
And Ladbrokes has provided the following odds: JON SOPEL (3/1), VICKI YOUNG (4/1), AMOL RAJAN (6/1), JAMES LANDALE (8/1), BETH RIGBY (10/1), FAISAL ISLAM (10/1), LEWIS GOODALL (10/1), SARAH SMITH (10/1), JON CRAIG (25/1), ANDREW NEIL (200/1), GEORGE OSBORNE (200/1) and PIERS MORGAN (200/1).