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Laura Kuenssberg with Clive Myrie© BBC

The real reason BBC star Laura Kuenssberg was forced to hire bodyguards

The BBC journalist was given a security detail in 2017

Megan Bull
TV Writer
Updated: July 4, 2024
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BBC journalist Laura Kuenssberg is a household name. Primarily known for her coverage of major political events, the 47-year-old first joined the broadcaster in 2000, taking on the role of Newsnight's chief correspondent before helming her very own show, Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg

Laura Kuenssberg outside Downing Street© BBC
Laura Kuenssberg has been with the BBC since 2000

Well-accustomed to life in the public eye, Laura has experienced the highs and lows of fame, which can unfortunately include online trolling. According to reports, the TV star was even assigned a security detail at a Labour party conference in 2017, after receiving abuse from Jeremy Corbyn supporters. 

The BBC refused to address the story, stating that they: "do not comment on security issues."However, Labour MP Yvette Cooper has spoken openly about the situation, telling The Guardian she was "sick to death of the vitriol poured out from all sides towards Laura Kuenssberg."

Labour MP Yvette Cooper has condemned the online abuse targeted at Laura © Getty
Labour MP Yvette Cooper has condemned the online abuse targeted at Laura

Interviewed in July 2017, Yvette noted: "It is her [Laura's] job to ask difficult questions. It is her job to be sceptical about everything we say. Nothing justifies the personal vitriol or the misogyny."

British journalist Jenni Russell has also addressed the barrage of abuse directed towards Laura. "The graphic level of threats to women is quite extraordinary and it's one of the worst things to have happened in recent British public life," she explained to The New York Times

After receiving further criticism from Conservative and Ukip supporters, Laura herself spoke about her experiences in November 2017. "I didn't aspire to have the finger pointed at me," she said at a Jewish Care event. "What they are trying to do is silence me."

Hitting back at online trolls and critics, Laura added: "No matter how unpleasant and personal it might be, it is not as bad as what other journalists face around the world in much more difficult circumstances." 

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Laura has continued to maintain this stance and is currently back hosting the 2024 general election night coverage for the BBC. She's joined by fellow journalist, Clive Myrie and BBC political editor Chris Mason. 

When she's not on hand to present, Laura lives away from the spotlight with her husband, management consultant James Kelly. The couple reportedly reside in East London.

What else is known about Laura Kuenssberg? 

Laura was born in Italy in August 1976 to Scottish businessman Nick Kuenssberg and his wife Sally. Her paternal grandfather was the German-born founder and president of the Royal College of General Practitioners, Dr Ekkehard von Kuenssberg. Her mother's father was the Scotland High Court judge Lord Roberton.

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