Sarah Smith

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Person.png Sarah Smith   Sourcewatch TwitterRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(Newsreader, news presenter)
Sarah Smith.jpg
Born22 November 1968
Edinburgh, Scotland
Alma materUniversity of Glasgow
Parents • John Smith
• Baroness Elizabeth Smith of Gilmorehill
SpouseSimon Conway
She's seen as part of Scotland’s political royalty. Family friends included Donald Dewar, the inaugural First Minister of Scotland, the former Labour Prime Minster Gordon Brown, and the former Defence Secretary John Reid.

Employment.png BBC/North America Editor

In office
2021 - Present

Employment.png BBC/Scotland Editor

In office
November 2015 - 2021

Sarah Smith (born 1968) is a Scottish radio and television news reporter who succeeded Andrew Neil as presenter of the Sunday Politics programme on BBC One beginning in mid-September 2017.[1]

Sarah Smith holds the post of Scotland Editor, having joined the BBC in Spring 2014 for the run-up to the 2014 Scottish independence referendum on 18 September 2014.[2] She has covered stories ranging from the United States presidential elections and the Madrid train bombings (for which Channel 4 News won an International Emmy in 2004), to the resignation of Iain Duncan Smith and an exclusive interview with Saddam Hussein's defence lawyer.

In 2021, she succeeded Jon Sopel as BBC News's North America editor.[3]

Early life

Sarah Smith was born in Edinburgh in 1968.[4] She attended school in the city[5] and then graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1989 with a Master of Arts.[6]


Sarah Smith began her journalistic career as a graduate trainee with BBC Scotland. She spent a year living and working in Belfast for BBC Northern Ireland, during which time she was held at gunpoint by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) in its West Belfast headquarters.

In 1991, Smith moved to London as an assistant producer with BBC Youth Programmes, working on Rough Guide, Rapido and Reportage. Two years later she moved to news and current affairs, first as assistant producer with the Public Eye and Here & Now programmes. She then worked as a producer for the BBC on programmes as diverse as Newsnight, Public Eye and Rough Guides.

On 5 News she was a reporter for two years. Smith was then the first newsreader on More4 News on Channel 4's digital television sister channel More4.

She was Channel 4 News Washington correspondent before moving to the post of Business correspondent in the summer of 2011.[7]

She presented BBC Two's Scottish current affairs programme, Scotland 2014, alongside sports presenter Jonathan Sutherland. The programme first aired on 27 May 2014.[8]

She was appointed the BBC's first Scotland Editor in November 2015, to cover Scottish news for a UK audience.[9]


Sarah Smith is the eldest daughter of the former leader of the Labour Party John Smith, and of Elizabeth Smith, Baroness Smith of Gilmorehill. The John Smith Memorial Trust, on whose Advisory Council she sits, lists her as The Hon Sarah Smith; her mother's status as a Baroness allows her the right to use "the Honourable" before her forename. Smith married Simon Conway, an author and co-chair of the Cluster Munition Coalition, on the island of Iona, where her father is buried, on 22 September 2007. The service was led by Rev. Douglas Alexander, father of former Scottish Labour Party leader Wendy Alexander.[10] In 2014, she returned to live in Edinburgh.

Her sister Jane is married to Malcolm Robertson, a founding partner of the powerful strategic communications agency Charlotte Street Partners, and the son of Lord Robertson of Port Ellen, the former Secretary General of NATO and Defence Secretary.[11]

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