Chris Mason asks Laura Kuenssberg for on-air handover as BBC political editor

Instead, his predecessor scolded him for his dirty desk.

Alex Green
Friday 06 May 2022 10:36
Chris Mason (BBC/PA)
Chris Mason (BBC/PA)

Chris Mason has jokingly asked Laura Kuenssberg for an on-air “handover” during one of their final shows together before he takes over as BBC political editor.

Mason, 42, will take over the high-profile role from Monday after spending more than a decade as political correspondent for BBC News, reporting from Westminster across TV, radio and online.

Kuenssberg is moving to replace Andrew Marr as host of the BBC’s Sunday morning politics show, with the local elections marking her final assignment before the change.

Laura Kuenssberg (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

During a special episode of BBC podcast Electioncast 2022, released on Friday, Mason jokingly asked Kuenssberg for a “handover” but she refused and instead scolded him.

“I am not going to do a handover,” she said.

“What I am going to do is tell you off for the last time, because when I have been in this job I have felt entitled to tell you off, and after today I am not going to be entitled to tell you off.”

Kuenssberg then rebuked Mason for his dirty desk after being sent a picture showing it covered in the remnants of a shepherd’s pie, sweet packets and empty mugs.

She said that from Monday he would be sitting in her “immaculate office”, which she said she had outfitted with scented candles and room spray, before jokingly adding: “What was my office…”

He replied: “I have to admit, Laura’s powers of description were accurate.”

Kuenssberg added: “The political editor of the BBC’s office looking like this. Then I am going to come back and have words. I mean it.

“I didn’t ask anyone to send me this picture, they were just so horrified they sent it to me.”

Mason said her sources “as ever, are impeccable” before admitting he was “blushing”.

Mason, originally from Yorkshire, reportedly only applied for the role of political editor last month, with Adam Fleming, co-presenter of Newscast and a long-standing friend, competing for the job.

According to the corporation’s most recent annual report, Kuenssberg earned between £260,000 and £264,999 for the role.

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