REPORTS say BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg may be stepping down from her role to join the Today programme on Radio 4.

The BBC has so far refused to speculate after The Guardian said the journalist is in negotiations over leaving the job as part of a major reshuffle of on-air staff.

BBC Scotland editor Sarah Smith, the daughter of former Labour leader John Smith, is also rumoured to be leaving her post for Washington DC, to fill the new North America editor vacancy. The role was previously filled by Jon Sopel.

The National:

In a statement, a BBC spokesperson said: “The North America editor role is currently being advertised internally and the role will go through the normal recruitment process; it’s a bit soon to start speculating about the outcome of this, let alone other jobs which aren’t actually vacant.”

Kuenssberg has been a controversial figure in recent years, facing accusations of bias from across the political spectrum on a range of issues including Brexit, General Elections and Scottish independence.

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If Kuenssberg is headed to Radio 4 as rumoured, who could potentially become the BBC’s next political editor?

Jon Sopel: According to Politico, BBC staff believe the former North America editor may be in with a shout for the political editor position, given he is currently finishing up in the US. Announcing his return to the UK on October 19, he said he had enjoyed his seven years in the US but was now planning a “long break” and “maybe” a new book. However, the timing of the news appears to have provoked suspicion. According to Betfair, Sopel tops the list of those ready to step up to the political editor position.

Lewis Goodall: Betfair’s odds for Newsnight policy editor Lewis Goodall taking on the position are currently at 5/2.  However, Goodall’s many stories on the UK Government’s pandemic failings would be likely to make him an unpopular choice with Number 10.

Vicki Young: According to reports, Young is another popular suggestion – and one BBC insider suggests the broadcaster is seeking another woman to replace Kuenssberg. Young is currently BBC News deputy political editor and has worked in various journalistic roles at the corporation for over a decade.

Chris Mason: Mason is another well-known BBC face, currently working as a political correspondent, host of the Newcast podcast and Any Questions presenter. He also appears on BBC Breakfast from time to time. The Beeb may rate him as a potential political editor given his recognisability.

Sarah Smith: If Smith doesn’t fancy relocating to the US, could she replace Kuenssberg? She has been Scotland editor at UK level for six years – maybe time for a promotion?

Odds on other candidates are currently 6/1 for Emily Maitlis, 8/1 for Ben Brown, 10/1 for Emma Barnett, 14/1 for Faisal Islam, 16/1 for Nick Robinson and 20/1 for Andrew Marr.