An executive at Rupert Murdoch’s News International who publicly defended the publication of naked pictures of Prince Harry has been named the new editor of The Sun newspaper.
David Dinsmore, 44, will replace Dominic Mohan at the helm of Britain’s best-selling daily.
Mr Mohan, who has held the post since 2009, is to move to a new strategic advisory role.
His departure is the latest in a series of changes following Rupert Murdoch’s decision to split his newspaper business from his film and broadcasting interests.
Mr Dinsmore is a former editor of The Scottish Sun who was last year promoted to director of operations of News International.
Where Mr Mohan rose to the hot seat after editing The Sun’s showbusiness page, Mr Dinsmore, who worked his first freelance shift at The Scottish Sun 22 years ago, has a grounding in the newspaper group’s managerial and regulatory operations, overseeing paper buying and syndication in his previous role.
Mr Dinsmore had publicly defended The Sun’s decision to publish pictures of Prince Harry frolicking naked in a Las Vegas hotel, in defiance of a plea from St James’s Palace, after they had gone viral on the internet. The photos represented “a crucial test of Britain’s free press,” Mr Dinsmore said.
Mr Dinsmore takes over a paper rocked by the arrest of more than 20 current or former Sun executives and journalists under Operation Elveden, Scotland Yard's investigation into inappropriate payments to public officials.
Today, two Sun journalists learned that they will face charges alongside a former Broadmoor worker over a conspiracy to pay more than £30,000 to public officials for unauthorised leaks.
John Edwards, pictures editor, and journalist Jamie Pyatt are to be charged along with Robert Neave, a former healthcare assistant at the high-security hospital, with conspiring to commit misconduct in public office.
Mr Dinsmore is also tasked with guiding the flagship tabloid into a digital future. The Sun will introduce a paywall from 1 August with a £2 per week charge which includes access to Premier League football highlights.
The new editor, who begins his role on Monday, said: “I relish the opportunity to build on the historic strengths of The Sun, and harness new digital opportunities to offer our loyal readers more than ever.
“Our exclusive rights to show mobile football clips of the Premier League will be a major enhancement this summer and a sign of more to come.”
Mr Dinsmore will provide a fresh face at the helm of The Sun before the trial in September of former senior News International executives Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson, on charges related to phone-hacking.
Mohan, who oversaw the launch of The Sun on Sunday following the closure of the News of the World, said: “I am confident The Sun will go from strength to strength, and now look forward to a new challenge of helping a brand new company find its feet and build a strong future for its journalism across the globe.”
Mohan will advise Robert Thomson, chief executive of Rupert Murdoch’s newspaper and book publishing business, on new opportunities for News Corp across Europe.
News International chief executive Mike Darcey said: “Dominic brought real imagination and flair to The Sun, maintaining its formidable reputation for exclusive news, sport and showbiz with wit, wisdom and insight. David Dinsmore is ideally placed to take the team to even higher levels. He has a proven track record on the paper over two decades and has recently helped steer the Premier League project with great skill and vision.”