Laura Kuenssberg to join Newsnight

Laura Kuenssberg Laura Kuenssberg first joined the BBC in 2000

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ITN business editor Laura Kuenssberg will return to the BBC in February when she will join Newsnight as its chief correspondent.

The BBC has also announced that presenter Gavin Esler will leave the BBC Two programme in January.

Kuenssberg will take on regular presenting duties as well as leading coverage of major stories.

She said she was "truly delighted to be joining a reinvigorated Newsnight".

"It's been a long held ambition of mine to work full time on the programme and I can't wait to get started."

Newsnight editor Ian Katz commented: "She'll add real firepower to Newsnight's reporting team as well as a fresh and compelling voice to the show's presenter line-up."

BBC background

Kuenssberg is the latest appointment made by Katz as part of the programme's transformation.

On Monday, it was announced that Financial Times journalist Chris Cook will join the programme as policy editor next February. Current political correspondent David Grossman will switch to the role of the programme's technology editor in the New Year.

Before joining ITN in 2011, Kuenssberg was chief political correspondent at BBC News Channel.

She joined the BBC in 2000, starting out on programmes for Cumbria and north-east England, and has also worked as a home affairs correspondent and a Daily Politics reporter.

Born in Scotland, she studied history at Edinburgh University and at the prestigious Georgetown University in Washington DC.

Esler is currently one of the main presenters on Newsnight. He joined the BBC in 1977 as a Northern Ireland reporter, later becoming Washington correspondent.

He also presents for BBC News Channel and BBC World.

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