Mail on Sunday sacks Remain-supporting columnist Rachel Johnson

Move highlights potential changes in way Mail on Sunday and sister paper, the Daily Mail, are expected to report on Brexit

Adam Withnall
Thursday 30 August 2018 04:52
Comments
Rachel Johnson: It's like Theresa May is one of the victims of Grenfell Tower fire

The Mail on Sunday has sacked its star columnist Rachel Johnson, a prominent supporter of remaining in the EU, just weeks after her brother Boris Johnson returned to his job as a columnist for the Daily Telegraph.

Ms Johnson was told of the paper’s decision in what was her first face-to-face meeting with new editor Ted Verity, and she said she “completely understand[s] he wants to put his own mark on the paper”.

The move highlights big shifts in the way the Mail on Sunday and its sister paper, the Daily Mail, are expected to view Brexit. Verity takes over from Geordie Greig, who was a strong supporter of remain but is moving over to edit the daily - arguably the most influential and fervent Brexit-supporting news outlet in the UK.

By comparison, Verity is seen as an ally of the former daily title editor Paul Dacre, who is moving after 26 years to become editor-in-chief of both papers’ publisher, Associated Newspapers.

“It was courteous of him to do it to my face and I wish him all the best,” Ms Johnson told the Press Gazette.

Ms Johnson will get the chance to write her last column this weekend, before Verity takes over for the edition of 9 September.

On the prospect of the Daily and Sunday titles swapping stances on Brexit, Dacre wrote a scathing article for the Spectator earlier this year saying he believed the Daily Mail’s readers wouldn’t accept a change of tack.

In the same diary piece, he described Ms Johnson’s columns as “giving banality a bad name”. Yet she was also nominated for Columnist of the Year at the 2018 Press Awards.

The former foreign secretary Boris Johnson’s return to the Daily Telegraph has already been making headlines of its own, after he compared women in burqas to letterboxes.

The Independent has previously reported how Mr Johnson – who was being paid £275,000 for his columns by the paper before becoming a minister - failed to apply for permission from the ministerial watchdog to accept his role so soon after leaving office.

Ms Johnson wrote her own column defending her brother’s article on the burqa, saying that “it didn't go far enough to express, in my view, how oppressive the garment is”.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in