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Lord Rothermere gathers the troops

Almost 1000 people gathered in Claridge's to hear the non-dom billionaire declare how the Daily Mail was “calling out the charlatans”

Photo: PA Archive/PA Images

Almost 1,000 creeps crammed into Claridge’s in London last week to hear the non-dom billionaire Lord Rothermere opining – without apparent irony – of how his newspaper the Daily Mail was “calling out the charlatans.” Among the guests were Priti Patel, Michael Gove, Dominic Raab, and – arriving very late – Boris Johnson, the charlatan-in-chief himself.

I’m reliably informed the speech was largely written for Rothermere by Paul Dacre, his editor-in-chief, which explains the leaden attempt at making light of the paper’s endless and much-derided “beergate” campaign against Sir Keir Starmer for his alleged lockdown “partying.”

“Prime minister,” Rothermere said, turning to a noticeably ruddy-faced Johnson, “we did think of having a birthday cake, but, given this is a ‘work event,’ we decided to have beer and curry instead.”

The paper has scarcely been a beacon for tolerance and progressive social views, but this, so far as Rothermere saw it, was no bad thing. “Yes, we must support equality and respect minority rights, but, equally, we must never forget that majorities have rights, too,” he said.

There was a reference at the much-postponed party to mark the Mail’s 125th anniversary to how, not long after the brothers Alfred and Harold Harmsworth founded the paper in 1896, it was selling a million copies a day. The latest figures for the print edition show it’s selling 875,125 copies a day and it’s still falling.

Interestingly, Geordie Greig, deposed as editor of the Daily Mail last year, was among the guests and was praised by Rothermere.

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