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March 23, 2016updated 25 May 2016 7:05pm

Guardian’s Nicholas Watt is named as Newsnight political editor

By Dominic Ponsford

Guardian chief political correspondent Nicholas Watt has been made Newsnight political editor.

He joins former Guardian deputy editor Ian Katz, who is the editor of Newsnight.

The appointment follows the departure of Newsnight investigations correspondent Nick Hopkins who has returned to The Guardian as investigations editor.

In December 2015 Watt missed out on the job of Guardian political editor when Anushka Asthana and Heather Stewart were appointed jointly to the role.

Sun political editor Tom Newton Dunn was rumoured to be in the running for the Newsnight job.

Watt began his political reporting career as Ireland Correspondent of the Times based in Belfast during the early stages of the Northern Ireland peace process.

In 1997 he moved back to London as political correspondent for the Times and joined the Guardian's political team the following year. He was political editor of the Observer between 2007 and 2008.

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Katz said: “Nick is one of the most trusted, authoritative and engaging journalists in the country. With a background in Northern Ireland, Europe and Westminster he’s also uniquely equipped to guide viewers through an increasingly fractured and complex political landscape, and to lead the programme’s coverage of one of the most important and potentially tumultuous political periods in modern memory.”

Watt said: "I am thrilled to be joining the outstanding team at Newsnight at such a defining moment in UK politics. I have been a fan since Newsnight's early days and am honoured to be working for a programme which has provided a home for some of my journalistic heroes over the last three decades."

Watt replaces Allegra Stratton who left to join ITV has national editor in November.

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