LONDON — Geordie Greig was always an odd duck in the bite as an editor of The Daily Mail, Britain’s largest gossip magazine. Educated at Eton and Oxford; An former editor of Tatler magazine; and a friend of the writer VS Naipaul and the painter Lucian Freud, Mr. Greig is a friendly aristocratic guy die was once described by The Observer as “Britain’s best-connected man.” He also against Brexit.
When mr. Greig was abruptly dropped last week in an internal power struggle, it caught both him and die from London media class off guard, institution off An round of lip-smacking gossip worthy of a newspaper headline. But in in in some ways it just meant a return to form for a right-leaning, mediocre newspaper die unswervingly support the Conservative Party and lead the attack for Brexit over the past two decades.
What’s causing the commotion at The Mail to reverberate beyond the island? world of Fleet Street is the central role it plays in British politics and society. More than any other British newspaper, The Mail is the . voice of which sociologists? call Central England, a broad section of middle-class readers, predominantly white and social conservative, most of whose live outside London and his over generally in favor of Brexit.
Keeping the Affection of these voters is critical for Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his party. So Mr Greig’s resignation – and his replacement by an editor, Ted Verity, who is seen as less likely run critical coverage of the government – is sure welcome to 10 Downing Street, even though most people don’t think that’s why The Mail’s owner, Jonathan Harmsworth, made the change.
“Geordie Greig was personally a Remainer and didn’t see it” politics because one lens,” said Alan Rusbridger, a former editor of the left- leaning guard. “His Mail Was Sharp Recently” critical of Boris Johnson and his government, which causes alarm in the current government and his ranks of MPs.”
For Mr Johnson, a former journalist who ever worked for the pro-Tory Daily Telegraph and edited The Spectator, would be a less confrontational Mail one less headache in a time when his polls have eroded in the brilliance of an ongoing corruption scandal involving conservative members of Parliament.
It could be also give mr. Johnson a muscular ally if he decides in coming weeks to rip up the trade arrangements for Northern Ireland. Which decision might ask trade war with the European Union, one that would revive anti-Brussels passions die The Mail long fueled and helped set the stage for Great Britain 2016 vote to break away.
“It’s an unknowable question of Brexit could have been” won without The Mail,” said Mr. Rusbridger, whose… latest book, “News and how to use it”, explores journalism in the age of Brexit and Donald J. Trump.
With a handful of with few exceptions, British newspapers are still leaning firmly to the right. But after almost two years in in which the coronavirus pandemic replaced Brexit as the country’s enduring concern – a crisis die times seemed to overwhelm government — mr. Johnson has not been able to count on an easy drive from the news media. The Mail under Mr Greig was especially ruthless over the perceived “sleaze” factor in government.
The paper aggressively covered the lucrative side jobs taken by conservative lawmakers. It broke the story of a Conservative Party donor who picked up a £58,000 ($77,000) bill for the refurbishment of The apartment of mr. Johnson in Downing Street by his wife, Carrie Johnson. (The prime minister later refunded the cost of which, perhaps inevitably, has nicknamed The Mail “Wallpapergate”.)
“There are certain things die really touch a Daily Mail reader, and one is fat cats and people feathering their own nests,” said Julian Petley, a journalist professor at Brunel University in London. “The Mail is right-wing, but very populist.”
It’s possible also be crusading: in In the 1990s, the newspaper went after a flawed police investigation of the racially motivated killing of a black teenager, Stephen Lawrence, at a bus stop in London. It also campaigned, with some success, to curb the use of plastic bags in Britain.
When Mr Johnson’s aides barred some journalists from a briefing over the European Union in 2020, the reporter of The Mail joined competitors from other newspapers in to walk out in protest. In an editorial comment that aptly summed up his tough approach to love, The Mail said: “This newspaper is a staunch supporter of everything he tries to achieve. But we cannot be an uncritical friend.”
For everyone of its strengths, The Mail still happily treats in tabloid feed. Meghan, Prince Harry’s wife, won a privacy statement against the sunday newspaper for publishing a personal letter die she sent her father, Thomas Markle. Her lawyers go in profession.
The email is internal politics are at least as rough as his coverage of national politics — and Mr Greig, 60, is a battle- met scarred veteran of both. Before I took the top job at The Daily Mail in 2018, he was an editor of The post on Sunday, die often in war seemed with his sister paper. While Mr Greig inveighed against Brexit, The Daily Mail was a full-throated champion, under Paul Dacre, the longtime editor and a staunch Brexiteer.
“I Was Surprised That Geordie Greig Was” made editor, for stay view but also his aristocratic educational background,” said Meera Selva, the deputy director of the Reuters Institute for the study of Journalism in Oxford.
However, Mr Greig’s opinion did not disqualify him with Mr Harmsworth, 53, who is better known as the Fourth Viscount Rotherre. Company executives said Lord Rotherere, whose great-grandfather co-founded The Daily Mail in 1896, wanted mr. Greig to “detox the brand” after years in die bang on the drum for Brexit had hurt reputation with readers and advertisers.
In June 2020, less than two years after Mr Greig took over, The Mail surpassed Rupert Murdoch’s Sun as Britain’s largest daily, with a circulation of just below one million. But politics poisoned his relationship with Mr Dacre, who Remained on as editor in chief of the parent business. He publicly criticized his successor for what he described as watering down The Mail’s pro-Brexit DNA.
Mr Greig declined to discuss his departure, without saying more in a statement that he looked forward until using the skills learned from “my years at The Mail, die I first joined in 1983 as the most junior reporter on the graveyard shift.” In his statement, Lord Rotherre did not . reason for the shakingup. He praised Mr Greig as a “hugely successful editor” and said Mr Verity was a “mail journalist in heart and kidneys”.
In the end, people inside the company said, Mr. Greig was less of a victim of politics then of An power struggle in a changing media rich. Mr Verity, whose Mail on Sunday was remarkably milder on mr. Johnson than The Daily Mail, is an ally of Martin Clarke, who runs Mail Online, the popular, fast-growing website.
Both are close to Mr. dacre, who had a setback of its own last week when he withdrew his name from the battle for… lead British communications regulator Ofcom, despite… support of the Johnson government. In a letter to The Times of Londonsaid Mr. Dacre that the civil service had turned it on him because . of are right-ofcenter viewed, calling it his “unfortunate dalliance” with the stain.”
Lord Rotherre, for his share, is preparing to take the family empire, Daily Mail and General Trust, private. As part of die transition, analysts said, he plans for the daily and Sunday newspapers, die struggled during the pandemic, and to bring Mail Online, which is run separately, closer to the fold.
“There is a ‘game’ of The drama of Thrones placesaid Douglas McCabe, the chief executive of Enders analysis, a media research firm in London. “But the key story behind it’s this deep strategic rethink of Company.”
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