Cameron Tried to Oust Dacre

Craig Oliver’s Remain campaign learnt “what it was like to be Ed Miliband” when you have the massed ranks of the right-wing media against you. Emily Maitlis revealed last night that David Cameron encouraged Jonathan Harmsworth to have Paul Dacre, an implacable Eurosceptic, removed as editor of the Daily Mail, after failing to charm him into pulling his punches. Maitlis speculates that when Dacre discovered this he redoubled his front page enmity towards Cameron.

Elsewhere Downing Street knew that the Express proprietor Richard Desmond was backing UKIP and Brexit every day in his papers. Cameron knew that Rupert Murdoch was also a lost cause, though he hoped that Rebekah Brooks might be able to temper The Sun’s attitude. The now Ukippy Brexit-backing Barclays-owned Telegraph was pulling its punches to an extent that confused their own journalists – many believed the CEO Murdoch MacLennan had been squared. Harmsworth (and the not to be underestimated Viscountess) were more supportive of Dave yet unwilling to guide Dacre. For the record Cameron’s attitude to Guido’s proprietor / editor in 2015 was all charm, smiles and wisecracks. In 2016 as our editorial line hardened on the referendum he turned curtly negative, sarcastic and cold. Hardly surprising




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