'Daily Mail' warms to new Labour
Friday 06 October 1995
The tantalising prospect that Associated Newspapers, publishers of the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, and Evening Standard, could support Labour in the next general election was floated publicly for the first time yesterday by Sir David English, the company's chairman.
Sir David reveals in the Spectator that the papers' proprietor, Lord Rothermere, acknowledged this week that an endorsement of Tony Blair was "not impossible" . Lord Rothermere's remark followed a two hour private meeting with the Labour leader. Sir David continues that "we may or may not" proffer support to Mr Blair and that it is "too early to say".
The tentative hints came the day after the Murdoch press, traditionally the bane of Labour's electoral prospects, warmly greeted Mr Blair's speech to the Labour Party conference in Brighton.
The notion that the Daily Mail could for the first time forsake its Tory heritage for New Labour comes in a conference diary from Brighton in which he describes several lunches with the Labour leader. Sir David says these have been "much more fun" than when "current members of the Government came gloomily to dine".
Sir David says that Mr Blair had acknowledged in conversation "what we [Associated] had been through" when "we talked about trade unions and what they had done to kill the newspaper industry", and adds: "He indicated quite clearly that, if in power, the position would not be restored to the point where we would have to face that again."
He describes a conversation about welfare in which Mr Blair made it clear that he shared the concern of the Mail's editor, Paul Dacre, about the welfare and social costs of single mothers. In contrast to both the late John Smith and John Major - both of whom had offered an "almost identical. . . knee-jerk, politically correct dismissal of this subject" in similar conversations, Mr Blair spoke "passionately about how the present unquestioning acceptance of this situation was. . . betraying a generation of children".
Mr Blair had told Associated executives "you may find I am the only one who has the will" to reform the welfare state. Sir David says a "thoughtful silence ensued" among colleagues after this remark.
Sir David says that "we are not without scepticism towards the present government" and adds: "We feel we must continue our dialogue with Tony Blair to the point where we can accurately reflect our opinion of him come the election; whether to attack him, remain neutral or even endorse him."
South Korea ferry: Vice principal rescued from sinking ship found hanged
Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Wreckage could be found within a week as search reaches 'very critical juncture', says minister
Royal Tour 2014: Is the Duchess of Cambridge the only person ever to climb into a fighter jet wearing a dress and high heels?
Kim Jong-un, crowds and contraband: Inside North Korea with the Pyongyang marathon winner
Cover up! Mother told to show less cleavage during Disneyland family trip: 'Are we supposed to wear turtlenecks our whole lives?'
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
'Sinful': Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy comes under attack
- 1 Pet cat puts three family members in hospital after launching frenzied attack
- 2 Dylan Tombides: West Ham confirm 20-year-old striker has died after battle with cancer
- 3 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 4 Angus Steakhouse: How does tourist staple continue to thrive in today's gourmet market?
- 5 Cover up! Mother told to show less cleavage during Disneyland family trip: 'Are we supposed to wear turtlenecks our whole lives?'
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...
£153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...