If Paul Dacre does get his yearned-for peerage in Boris Johnson’s resignation honours list, it will come on the understanding he no longer involves himself with the editorial direction of the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday. This could well mean Dacre severing his links with the company and new editors being installed for both its national titles.
The favourite to succeed Ted Verity – seen very much as a Dacre loyalist who was closely associated with expensive libel actions involving Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and Melania Trump – is Tony Gallagher. The former Daily Mail executive, who went on to edit the Daily Telegraph and the Sun and is currently deputy editor of the Times, has lately been spotted lunching with Lord Rothermere at Scott’s restaurant in London.
Rothermere has had an eventful few weeks, with his former executive Martin Clarke coming to him with a consortium of largely American investors to buy out MailOnline, the business Clarke turned into the most-visited English language website in the world. Rothermere declined. He has still to get around to replacing Clarke, with MailOnline presided over by its “interim” boss, Danny Groom, but he has high hopes for this part of his media business, which he has lately delisted from the stock market.
Rothermere has meanwhile abandoned plans to relocate his newspaper empire to the Ark building in Hammersmith, west London, and will merely be moving it across the road in Kensington to the old Derry & Toms building. It’s not clear if the London Evening Standard will be joining them as the new rental arrangements will necessitate its owner, Lord Lebedev, securing banking facilities that are now inevitably very difficult after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Baroness Veronica Wadley and Lord Charles Moore were both ennobled only after they ceased to be actively involved with running, respectively, the Standard and the Daily Telegraph.