Independent agony aunt Virginia Ironside out after 23 years with two weeks' redundancy pay

The Independent’s agony aunt is leaving the paper after over 20 years, as management finalises its list of columnists and writers for the Independent.co.uk .

Virginia Ironside, who penned the Independent’s weekly Dilemmas column for 23 years, has not been offered a role on the Independent website when the paper closes on 26 March.

Despite contributing over a thousand columns, Ironside (who has her own website) has been given only two weeks redundancy pay.

This is thought to be down to the fact that she worked as a freelance for the paper.

Ironside said: “Having worked at the Independent for 23 years I’m extremely sorry to leave. It’s been a difficult few weeks for us columnists, with scant information, and sadly, because we’re freelancers, no financial compensations.

“I am now on the market for any other agony aunt jobs. In the meantime, I hope to continue writing books, writing my column for the Oldie and doing my one-woman show, Growing Old Disgracefully.”

It is unclear what is happening to the paper’s other columnists, such as Yasmin Alibhai-Brown and Matthew Norman.

The Independent has said that "a number of columnists" will continue writing for the website after print closure. But so far Grace Dent is the only individual to have been named.

It is thought that the closure of The Independent and The Independent on Sunday will lead to the loss of up to 100 jobs.

Management at parent company ESI Media are thought to be now finalising its list of journalists who are staying with the paper.

It is understood that a number of star writers, such as Whitehall editor Charlie Cooper and political editor Oliver Wright,  will be staying and have not been offered redundancy packages.

Some print journalists have been in negotiations about applying for new online roles.

Press Gazette understands that some insides have concerns about the sort of traffic and story-count targets which online journalists at The Independent are believed to be expected to meet.

The Independent did not respond to a request for comment.

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