Incoming Times comment editor and Conservative Home founder Tim Montgomerie has brushed aside suggestions the paper is moving towards the political Right.
Montgomerie, who is to step down as editor of the Tory website next month, told Press Gazette he wants to keep The Times’s comment pages as “diverse” as ever.
“The proof of the pudding will be in the eating. Nothing I can say now will necessarily reassure the sceptics,” he said.
“I want people with interesting views from wherever they sit on the political spectrum on The Times’s pages.”
He also said acting editor John Witherow “absolutely wants to maintain” the current diversity.
Montgomerie said: “I think what John Witherow is trying to do is have people with strong opinion from all sides of politics at The Times.
“You look at the columnists from The Times – Matthew Parris, Daniel Finklestein and Alice Thomson on the one side, and David Aaronovitch, Philip Collins [the new chief leader writer] and Rachel Sylvester on the other side.
“The huge strength of The Times relative to other newspapers is it has people with strong views. It has people with diverse views.”