Oakley to join CNN dot.com as political editor

The BBC's former political editor, Robin Oakley, who was ousted in May, has found a job at CNN's new website.

The BBC's former political editor, Robin Oakley, who was ousted in May, has found a job at CNN's new website.

Oakley, urged to take "early retirement" when he was replaced by the former Independent editor Andrew Marr, will be CNN.com's European political editor. His expulsion from the BBC, regarded as brutal by some, was part of a shake-up of political journalists implemented by broadcasters before the next general election.

His arch-rival, ITN's former political editor, Michael Brunson, retired in March. He caused controversy by saying the BBC had considered that Oakley was "not up to snuff" but "had not had the guts to tell him". Brunson said: "Robin must have been deeply hurt by the way he was frequently judged by critics when compared with myself and others."

Yesterday CNN.com's managing editor, David Brewer, defended his appointee, saying: "I think Robin is one of Europe's foremost political journalists. I couldn't speak more highly of him."

In his new role Oakley will get to cover the general election after all, on the website and to some degree on television. Brewer said: "CNN International will want to use him on the set to explain the political ramifications of any major event."

Oakley's former BBC colleague John Sergeant will be covering the election in his new role as political editor of ITN, possibly in a special revival of News at Ten for the preelection period. Adam Boulton at Sky is one of the few top political journalists not to be changing jobs.

Brunson, meanwhile, is becoming a columnist at Saga magazine, where he will write articles explaining parliamentary issues.

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