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Saturday, 13 May, 2000, 16:10 GMT 17:10 UK
Robin Oakley retires early from BBC
Robin Oakley
Robin Oakley outside one of his regular political beats
Andrew Marr, formerly editor of The Independent newspaper, is taking over from Robin Oakley as the BBC's Political Editor.

The handover will happen when parliament reaches the summer recess.

Mr Oakley will be 60 next year and has opted to retire one year early.

We will explore other ways of using Robin Oakley's considerable talents

Tony Hall

A former reporter and correspondent for the Scotsman, Economist and Independent, Mr Marr, 41, is currently a columnist for the Observer and Express.

He has presented the series The Day Britain Died, based on a book he authored about the concept of a divided Britain, and has made occasional appearances on the BBC's The Week in Westminster and Panorama.

Mr Marr said of his appointment that he could not think of "a more exciting and challenging job for a journalist and a better time to be doing it."

Robin Oakley said a decision about retirement had been under consideration for some time.

"Because I was due to retire next August I had been talking to the BBC for a while about my time of leaving, particularly because of the growing uncertainty about the date of the next general election.

"Although I would have liked to have covered that election before going, the BBC have decided that they would like the whole period - through the election and the next parliament -to be covered by my successor, Andrew Marr.

Robin Oakley
Andrew Marr: excited by his new appointment

"I can see the logic of that and so I have decided to pursue other interests from this autumn."

Mr Oakley became BBC Political Editor in 1992 after being The Times' political editor.

He had also worked for the Liverpool Daily Post, Sunday Express, Now! magazine and the Daily Mail.

Despite his retirement, his links with the BBC will resume this autumn as he plans to present Radio 4's 'The Week in Westminster' throughout the party political conference season.

Tony Hall, Director of BBC News, said: "We will explore other ways of using his considerable talents."

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22 Nov 99 | UK Politics
Robin Oakley's week in politics
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