First woman editor tipped to take over

The Mirror's future
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The Daily Mirror is being tipped to get its first female editor, Tina Weaver, as a replacement for the sacked Piers Morgan. Ms Weaver is currently the editor of the Sunday Mirror and is in the final weeks of maternity leave. Her appointment would mean the rival Sun and Mirror would both be under the stewardship of women.

Since Friday evening the paper has been in the hands of Des Kelly, formerly Mr Morgan's deputy and the man who broke the news of his sacking to staff. He would also be a strong candidate, but some staff contrast his style unfavourably with the charm of the hugely popular Mr Morgan.

Ms Weaver joined the Mirror in 1995 after being named reporter of the year at the British Press Awards the previous year. She went on to launch and edit the paper's magazine M, and landed her role at the Sunday title when the then editor, Colin Myler, resigned following the publication of an article that led to the halting of the trial of Leeds footballers two years ago. One Mirror source said: "We have a large female readership so it would make perfect sense for her to take over."

Other frontrunners to take the helm include Richard Wallace, acting editor of the Sunday title in her absence who has a strong track record at the daily. Well into his second decade with the group, he has been showbusiness editor and head of news.

Phil Hall, the former News of the World and Hello! editor, is also being mentioned by insiders. He is currently editorial development director for the Mirror, overseeing magazines such as We Love Telly!

Piers Morgan commanded huge loyalty from Mirror staff who were in celebration mood on Friday evening, rather than mourning, as they toasted the departure on maternity leave of his PA, Kerrie Hutton. The editor had been due to give a speech in her honour, but failed to appear after being escorted from the Mirror offices. Some of those who did attend said they were "gutted" by the axing of their boss. "Piers Morgan was the Mirror," said one. "When he took over eight and a half years ago the Mirror was crap, and he transformed it."