'Cappuccino' recruitment? More like 'espresso' as BBC fills political editor vacancy in less than a fortnight

An internal BBC survey found last year that one of the major gripes of staff was what has been called a “cappuccino” hiring policy. (Picture: Shutterstock)

But the speed with which Nick Robinson has been replaced by Laura Kuenssberg as political editor has been more like an espresso.

In the survey some 67 per cent disagreed with the statement “there are fair, open processes for filling internal vacancies”.

Nick Robinson’s departure as was announced on 9 July.

The vacancy was ‘advertised’ shortly afterwards on the BBC website (although it appeared difficult to find without having the link). The deadline for applicants was 16 July with interviews said to be held on the week commencing 20 July.

The vacancy was not advertised on outside media. The Daily Mail reports that Kuenssberg saw off competition from Newsnight political editor Allegra Stratton and BBC News special correspondent Lucy Manning.

Head of newsgathering Jonathan Munro announced her appointment on Twitter, only to delete his message shortly afterwards – reportedly because not all the unsuccessful candidates had been told.

When asked about the political editor recruitment process, the BBC press office referred Press Gazette to head of news James Harding's comments in the press release when he said that she "stood out in a field of extremely strong candidates".

Meanwhile, ITV News seems in less of a rush to fill its political editor role, which was publicly advertised after the news on 25 June that Tom Bradby would be moving to present the News at Ten.

BBC deputy political editor James Lansdale, who secured one of the few scoops in the general election campaign with the news that David Cameron would step down before the end of his second term, is seen as frontrunner for the job.

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