Political editor

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The political editor of a newspaper or broadcaster is the senior political reporter who covers politics and related matters for the newspaper or station. They may have a large team of political correspondents working under them.


In publishing, because of their seniority, a political editor's byline is often added to stories which actually are the work of more junior colleagues to give the story more credibility and to indicate their seniority within the publication. The political editor usually carries out the major interviews with a country's prime minister and senior government figures and covers major events like party conferences.

United Kingdom

Broadcast journalism

BBC News

BBC News introduced the role of political editor in 1970. [1] In addition to the nation-wide political editors, Glenn Campbell has been political editor for BBC Scotland since 2021, Felicity Evans has been political editor for BBC Cymru Wales since 2018 [2] and Nicholas Watt has been political editor for Newsnight since 2016. [3]

Political editorTenureNotes
Hardiman Scott 19701975Then Chief Assistant to the Director-General of the BBC
David Holmes 19751980
John Simpson 19801981Now BBC World Affairs Editor
John Cole 19811992
Robin Oakley 19922000Now at CNN
Andrew Marr 20002005Now at LBC
Nick Robinson 20052015Political editor of ITV News 20022005, now a Today programme presenter
Laura Kuenssberg 20152022
Chris Mason 2022present

ITV News

ITN produces news programmes for ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5. The ITN brand was used on ITV until 1999, when it was rebranded as ITV News.

Political editorTenureNotes
Julian Haviland 19751981Subsequently political editor of The Times newspaper
Glyn Mathias 19811986Subsequently political editor of BBC Wales and Electoral Commissioner
Michael Brunson 19862000Retired
John Sergeant 20002002Retired, previously Political Correspondent of BBC News 19811992 and Chief Political Correspondent 19922000
Nick Robinson 20022005Political editor of BBC News 20052015, now a Today programme presenter
Tom Bradby 20052015Now an ITV News at Ten presenter
Robert Peston 2015present

Additionally, Bernard Ponsonby has been the political editor for STV News in Scotland since 2000, when he replaced Fiona Ross.

Channel 4 News

Political editors for Channel 4 News include:

5 News

ITN produced the 5 News programme for Channel 5 from the channel's launch in 1997 until 2005 and again from 2012, with Sky News providing news coverage in the intervening years. Andy Bell has been the programme's political editor since 1999.

Sky News

Sky News launched in 1989 with Adam Boulton as political editor. Faisal Islam took over the role in 2014 before moving to the BBC as Economics Editor in 2019. Islam was replaced as Sky's political editor by his former deputy, Beth Rigby.

The Guardian

Political editorTenureNotes
Ian Aitken 19751990
Michael White 19902006
Patrick Wintour 20062015
Anushka Asthana 20162018Asthana was political editor in a job share arrangement with Heather Stewart beginning in early 2016
Heather Stewart 2016present

The Sun

Political editorTenureNotes
Trevor Kavanagh 19832005
George Pascoe-Watson 20062009
Tom Newton Dunn 20092020
Harry Cole 2020present

The Sunday Times

Political editorTenureNotes
Isabel Oakeshott 20102014
Tim Shipman 20142021
Caroline Wheeler2021present [6]

Rest of the world

New Zealand

United States

Related Research Articles

ITN British-based news and content provider

Independent Television News (ITN) is a UK-based television production company. It is made up of two divisions: Broadcast News and ITN Productions. ITN is based in London, with bureaux and offices in Beijing, Brussels, Jerusalem, Johannesburg, New York, Paris, Sydney and Washington, D.C.

<i>Channel 4 News</i> Channel 4s flagship news programme

Channel 4 News is the main news programme on British television broadcaster Channel 4. It is produced by ITN, and has been in operation since Channel 4's launch in November 1982.

<i>Newsnight</i> Weekday BBC Television current affairs program

Newsnight is the BBC's news and current affairs programme, that provides "in-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines." It broadcasts on weekdays at 10:30pm on BBC Two, and is also available on BBC iPlayer.

ITV News Channel

The ITV News Channel was a 24-hour television news channel in the United Kingdom which broadcast from 1 August 2000 to 23 December 2005. It was available on Sky, NTL:Telewest, ITV Digital, Freeview and analogue cable, presenting national and international news plus regular business, sport, entertainment and weather summaries. Priority was usually given to breaking news stories. There was also an added focus on British stories, drawing on the resources of the ITV network's regional newsrooms.

ITV News is the branding of news programmes on the British television network ITV. ITV has a long tradition of television news. Independent Television News (ITN) was founded to provide news bulletins for the network in 1955, and has since continued to produce all news programmes on ITV. The channel's news coverage has won awards from the Royal Television Society, Emmy Awards and BAFTAs. Between 2004 and 2008, the ITV Evening News held the title of "RTS News Programme of the Year". The flagship ITV News at Ten has won numerous BAFTA awards, and also being named "RTS News Programme of the Year" in 2011, 2015, 2021 and 2022.

Alastair Stewart English journalist and newscaster

Alastair James Stewart OBE is an English journalist and newscaster. Formerly presenting for ITV News, he joined GB News as a presenter in 2021. He has won the Royal Television Society's News Presenter of the Year award twice.

<i>ITV Evening News</i> Television news programme

The ITV Evening News is the evening news programme produced by ITN on the British television network ITV. It airs Monday to Friday from 6:30pm, covering British national and international news stories and is presented by Mary Nightingale.

The ITV Lunchtime News is the afternoon news programme produced by ITN on the British television network ITV. It airs Monday to Friday from 1:30pm, covering British national and international news stories and is presented by Nina Hossain.

Michael Crick English broadcaster, journalist and author

Michael Lawrence Crick is an English broadcaster, journalist and author. He was a founding member of the Channel 4 News Team in 1982 and remained there until joining the BBC in 1990. He started work on the BBC's Newsnight programme in 1992, serving as political editor from 2007 until his departure from the BBC in 2011. Crick then returned to Channel 4 News as political correspondent. In 2014 he was chosen as Specialist Journalist of the Year at the Royal Television Society television journalism awards.

Thomas Matthew Bradby is a British journalist and novelist who currently presents the ITV News at Ten. He was previously political editor for ITV News from 2005 to 2015, and presented The Agenda with Tom Bradby, a political discussion series, from 2012 to 2016.

Stephen James Young Scott is a British journalist and presenter employed by ITN as the sports editor and newscaster for ITV News. In 2021 he was named both broadcast journalist of the year and sports news reporter of the year at the annual Sports Journalists' Association Awards.

<i>5 News</i>

5 News at 5, also known as Channel 5 News, is the news programme of British broadcaster Channel 5, produced by ITN from its main newsroom on Gray's Inn Road, London.

The Department of Journalism at City, University of London, is a journalism school in London. It is regarded as one of the best universities in the United Kingdom for the study of journalism. as well as the nation's largest centre for journalism education. It was described by Michael Hann of The Guardian, along with Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, as the "Oxbridge of journalism".

Laura Kuenssberg British journalist (born 1976)

Laura Juliet Kuenssberg is a British journalist. She succeeded Nick Robinson as political editor at the BBC in July 2015, and was the first woman to hold the position. Kuenssberg stepped down as political editor on May 6, 2022, after reporting on the 2022 United Kingdom local elections. She had previously served as the BBC's chief political correspondent and was the first business editor of ITV News. She was also the chief correspondent for Newsnight between February 2014 and July 2015.

Allegra Stratton British journalist (born 1980)

Allegra Elizabeth Jane Stratton is a British former political aide, journalist, and writer who served as Downing Street Press Secretary under Boris Johnson from November 2020 to April 2021.

David Charles Walter, was a British journalist and a former Political Correspondent for Independent Television News programmes on ITV from 1980 to 1986, then on ITN's Channel 4 News from 1986 to 1988, followed by Paris Correspondent for BBC News, a BBC television and radio producer and presenter, and a Liberal Democrat contender for a seat in the British Parliament. He was a direct descendant of John Walter, the founder of The Times newspaper, whilst his mother was a cousin of former Home Secretary William Whitelaw.

Katherine Mary Razzall is a British journalist and television newsreader.

This is a timeline of the history of television news in the UK.


  1. Witts, Preston (21 March 2014). "Obituary: Former BBC political editor David Holmes". BBC News . Retrieved 25 January 2020.
  2. "Felicity Evans appointed new BBC Cymru Wales Political Editor". BBC Media Centre. 23 July 2018. Retrieved 18 March 2021.
  3. Jackson, Jasper (23 March 2016). "BBC2's Newsnight hires Guardian's Nick Watt to replace Allegra Stratton". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 June 2017.
  4. Singh, Anita (22 July 2015). "Laura Kuenssberg confirmed as new BBC Political Editor after Corporation's Twitter gaffe". The Daily Telegraph . Retrieved 25 January 2020.
  5. "Gary Gibbon". Channel 4 Television Corporation . 25 January 2020. Retrieved 25 January 2020.
  6. Ahmed, Mariam (8 October 2021). "Sunday Times appoints Wheeler political editor". Talking Biz News. Retrieved 15 November 2021.