Arianna huffington Arianna Huffington, founder and editor of the Huffington Post. Photo: david_shankbone on Flickr. Some rights reserved
After weeks of expectation, news and opinion website the Huffington Post launches its UK site today.

"HuffPost UK", the first of its sites outside of North America, is edited by former AOL Europe editor-in-chief Carla Buzasi. She leads a 10-strong editorial team including former BBC and Al-Jazeera staff.

This morning's lead story, on Rebekah Brooks and the News of the World phone hacking scandal, was written by political editor Chris Wimpress, a former political correspondent for BBC Radio 4. The team also includes news editor Jacqui Head, a former online journalist at Al Jazeera, and entertainment editor Caroline Frost, a former arts producer for BBC News.

The site launches with an impressive array of guest bloggers, including culture secretary Jeremy Hunt, comedian Ricky Gervais, campaigner Sarah Brown, former New Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell, and the US ambassador to London, Louis Susman.

Alongside its guest writers, it is understood that the UK site has around 300 unpaid bloggers already on board.

Arianna Huffington, the site's founder and editor, has written a long post for the launch in which she credits the UK with having "a key role in the development of the Huffington Post".

Huffington says that the goal of the new site is to provide readers with a "one-stop shop for all the information they need to know – whether we're reporting on it, curating it from the best sources around the world, or our bloggers are weighing in with their takes on it".

Outlining the "editorial vision" for the site, she adds it intends to "put an end to seeing every issue through the tired frame of right versus left".

"There is nothing right or left about obsessively covering youth unemployment, or the struggles of working families, or the war in Afghanistan."

Huffington singled out the UK's left-of-centre newspapers for praise in her post, calling the Guardian's "commitment to 'open journalism' particularly exciting" and praising the Independent for "masterful use of storytelling to shine a light on important issues".

She has a close relationship with the Guardian, which she visited last month and has written for in the past.

The Huffington Post site was criticised for its use of unpaid bloggers in February, when the site was purchased by AOL for $315 million (£195 million), which was divided between Huffington and the site's shareholders.

The site defended itself against the attacks, saying that it was "wrong and offensive to insist that the Huffington Post was exploiting its journalists".

AOL, which cut 900 jobs as it took over the Huffington Post, will provide some of its existing employees to help staff the new UK site.

Under the deal, Huffington was made president and editor-in-chief of the newly formed AOL Huffington Post Media Group and took control of all of AOL's editorial content.

She will speak at a launch event for the site this evening, alongside Alastair Campbell, former Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie, and human rights campaigner Shami Chakrabarti. will be at the launch tonight, you can follow our @journalismnews Twitter account for updates or tune in in the morning for more coverage of the event.

See our round of the best of blogs in the run up to the event at this link.

Image by david_shankbone on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

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