Daily Mail reversing Brexit stance 'would be editorial and commercial suicide', Dacre warns new editor

New head Geordie Grieg is known to be a remainer 

Paul Dacre is to step down as Daily Mail editor in November

It would be “editorial and commercial suicide" for the Daily Mail to reverse its pro-Brexit stance, the newspaper's editor Paul Dacre has warned his successor.

The 69-year-old announced his resignation last week after 26 years at the helm of the right-wing newspaper.

Geordie Grieg, current editor of sister paper The Mail on Sunday will take over when Mr Dacre steps down in November.

He is known to be a keen supporter of Britain remaining part of the European Union.

But in a column for The Spectator Mr Dacre warned against softening the paper's pro-Brexit stance.

“What moves me most are the countless messages from readers worried about whether the Mail will continue its support for EU withdrawal,” he wrote. “My answer to them — and others — is unequivocal. Support for Brexit is in the DNA of both the Daily Mail and, more pertinently, its readers.

“Any move to reverse this would be editorial and commercial suicide.”

Mr Dacre and Mr Grieg are known to have a frosty relationship, with the latter attacking those who most fervently pushed for Brexit as having peddled a “dangerous illusion”.

One Conservative MP told The Independent that Mr Dacre’s Daily Mail was the “standard bearer” for Brexit and that it was losing “one of its greatest champions”.

But the pair could continue to clash even after Mr Dacre’s departure, with the 69-year-old moving upstairs to become editor-in-chief of the newspaper’s parent group, Associated Newspapers.

In his first public comments since his resignation, Mr Dacre defended his record at the helm of the newspaper, insisting “shock headlines” helped secure justice for the Omagh bomb victims and the release of Guantanamo detainee Shaker Aamer.

He accused the BBC of helping prevent a “mature” debate on immigration and suggested the Mail’s willingness to “promote” the debate had “helped prevent the rise here of the kind of ugly right-wing political movements now festering across the EU”.

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