Former chairman of the Conservative party Jeffrey Archer has said he has turned to left-leaning papers for his election news to counterbalance the ‘prejudiced’ coverage in the Telegraph.
The Thatcherite life peer told the Brief Encounters podcast that the paper has become “so prejudiced and so unbelievable I have to read the Guardian to try and balance it”.
The Press Gazette reports Archer as saying he was “disappointed” with the balance of its coverage, and adding: “I want a considered opinion on this election and the Telegraph isn’t giving me one.”
He told freelance journalist Rob McGibbon: “I want a paper that tells it to me and leaves me to make the decision,” he said. “I don’t need to be told Boris is wonderful, Corbyn is rubbish. I would like to work it out for myself. I want them to put the facts and report them.”
Archer defended the Telegraph’s comment writers, including Rod Liddle, as material not to be taken entirely seriously.
“But when I read the front page I want a serious report and then I will make up my own mind, thank you.”
The Telegraph, which previously employed Boris Johnson as a highly-paid columnist, has long championed both Brexit and the prime minister and has come under criticism in recent years for prioritising this editorial position over necessary balance.
Johnson is reported as having earned £275,000 a year from his Telegraph column, and upon becoming prime minister he launched his election campaign in a front-page article for the paper.
The paper has today launched a front-page attack on Labour’s recent highlighting of government papers discussing potential post-Brexit NHS deals, which have been leaked. The front-page article cites researchers who allege that the papers were published “using methods that directly mirror an earlier Russian disinformation campaign”.