Home U.S Chris Mason is announced as BBC's next political editor

Chris Mason is announced as BBC's next political editor

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Chris Mason is announced as BBC‘s next political editor and will replace Laura Kuenssberg next month after bosses rejected all-female shortlist

The BBC has confirmed that Chris Mason is replacing Laura Kuenssberg as the broadcaster’s Political Editor next month after Corporation bosses rejected an all-female shortlist.

Mason, the presenter of Radio 4’s Any Questions?, was tipped to be the favourite – despite previously ruling himself out of the job – after BBC chiefs were said to be unhappy with candidates including ITV News’s Anushka Asthana and Sophy Ridge from Sky. 

The 41-year-old, who has worked at the BBC since 2002, reportedly only applied in recent days after he was ‘courted by rival broadcasters’.  

Regarded as an ‘adept broadcaster’, with ‘sound judgement’ and ‘a flair for political analysis’ by his colleagues, Mason, who now earns less than £150,000, would see his pay rise shoot up – as Kuenssberg earned at least £260,000 last year. 

Kuenssberg revealed she was stepping down as political editor five months ago, with her final assignment at the BBC set to be the local elections coverage next month.

Bosses have previously told candidates that a replacement was expected to be appointed by February.

Mason, who studied geography at Cambridge, took over Radio 4’s Any Questions? show, a topical discussion with a panel of people from politics and media who are posed questions by the public, in October 2019.

After spending two decades at the BBC, Mason, who is from Grassington in north Yorkshire, has spent most of his career covering Westminster.

Speaking with a Yorkshire accent, his appointment could combat criticisms of the broadcaster for being London-centric and not having enough regional voices.

The BBC has confirmed that Chris Mason is replacing Laura Kuenssberg as the broadcaster's Political Editor next month after Corporation bosses rejected an all-female shortlist

The BBC has confirmed that Chris Mason is replacing Laura Kuenssberg as the broadcaster’s Political Editor next month after Corporation bosses rejected an all-female shortlist 

Kuenssberg revealed she was stepping down as political editor five months ago, with her final assignment at the BBC set to be the local elections coverage next month

Kuenssberg revealed she was stepping down as political editor five months ago, with her final assignment at the BBC set to be the local elections coverage next month 

Mason, who studied geography at Cambridge, took over Radio 4's Any Questions? show, a topical discussion with a panel of people from politics and media who are posed questions by the public, in October 2019. After spending two decades at the BBC, Mason, who is from Grassington in north Yorkshire, has spent most of his career covering Westminster (pictured amidst an anti-Brexit pro-Europe demonstration)

Mason, who studied geography at Cambridge, took over Radio 4’s Any Questions? show, a topical discussion with a panel of people from politics and media who are posed questions by the public, in October 2019. After spending two decades at the BBC, Mason, who is from Grassington in north Yorkshire, has spent most of his career covering Westminster (pictured amidst an anti-Brexit pro-Europe demonstration)

Applicants were whittled down to ITV News's Anushka Asthana, 42, pictured, and Sophy Ridge, 37, from Sky

Applicants were whittled down to ITV News's Anushka Asthana, 42, and Sophy Ridge, 37, pictured, from Sky

Mason, the presenter of Radio 4’s Any Questions?, was tipped to be the favourite – despite previously ruling himself out of the job – after BBC chiefs were said to be unhappy with candidates including ITV News’s Anushka Asthana and Sophy Ridge from Sky 

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries previously instructed the BBC to present plans to improve regional and class diversity in the corporation before agreeing the new licence fee settlement.

Mason would likely have to stop presenting Any Questions?, it is understood, but it could later put him in good stead to take over Fiona Bruce, 57, on Question Time, The Sunday Times reported.

This is a breaking news story. More to follow 

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