Kavanagh: 'Staying on would be bed-blocking'

By Dominic Ponsford and Zoe Smith

Sun
political editor Trevor Kavanagh and Guardian political editor Michael
White are both stepping back from the journalistic front line to become
commentators.

Kavanagh, 62, told Press Gazette that, apart from a brief period as
a sub, it will be the first time he has been anything other than a
reporter.

He said: “I’ve been doing this job for getting on for
23 years and I felt that news gathering and being a political editor is
probably a younger man’s job.

I think there’s been a change in
the political firmament – not just the arrival of David Cameron, who is
39, but Osbourne who is 33 and even Tony Blair who is barely 50.
There’s now a younger generation of politicians.

“I could have gone on until retirement at 65, but I thought that would have been bed-blocking.”

He
added: “I think it’s the best job on a newspaper and The Sun is the
best paper to be political editor on. It’s very exciting, you rarely
get a week without a very big story breaking.” He said one of the
proudest achievements of his career was being named Press Gazette
British Press Awards journalist of the year in 1997.

Kavanagh is being replaced as political editor by George Pascoe-Watson who has been his deputy for seven years.

Sunday Times deputy political editor Andrew Porter has been appointed Pascoe-Watson’s deputy.

Guardian
political editor Michael White, who has been in the job for 16 years,
will become an assistant editor, still based at Westminster, writing a
mixture of features, columns and articles for the paper and the website.

He
said: “I reached 60 a few weeks ago and it’s time to do something
different and let somebody else have a crack at it. Trevor Kavanagh is
leaving the Sun quite soon and he has shaved his beard off to look more
like me.

I thought he’d done the decent thing, wanting to look like me, so I ought to do the decent thing too and move on.”

The Guardian has yet to appoint a successor to White. The paper is also looking for New York and Paris correspondents.

New
York-based Gary Younge is returning to write features for Weekend
magazine and the comment pages, and Jon Henley is to write the Diary,
which in recent weeks has been written by a series of different writers.

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