Pierce and Jones join Yelland's 'liberal' Sun

Jones: "new, young, strident and modern voices" at The Sun

David Yelland, soon to celebrate four years as Sun editor, has made two of his most significant moves since he arrived from New York.

He has hired gay journalist Andrew Pierce, assistant editor of The Times, and 26-year-old Emma Jones, one of the youngest voices in Fleet Street, who has quit as editor of Smash Hits.

Pierce, who will also be an assistant editor, will write a column on Monday  and edit a new diary from Tuesday to Friday. He will write on gay issues "as and when".

Jones, who is returning to The Sun, will have a Tuesday column.

Yelland told Press Gazette: "Finding new, young, strident and modern voices for a newspaper is one of the most vital tasks for any editor. This is because the columnists mark out the personality and social and cultural positioning of a newspaper.

"We already have Richard Littlejohn, who is without doubt the greatest columnist of his time, and we have the wonderful Jane Moore – who is becoming a national force in so many ways.

"Now I’m very proud to be able to bring Andrew Pierce into The Sun. This is something I have been working on for a long time – it bears no reflection on the editorship of Robert Thomson [new editor of The Times].

"And Emma Jones becomes one of the youngest columnists in Fleet Street."

Yelland wants The Sun to be "a voice of liberalism in the widest sense". He added: "We are a conservative paper. But we do not indulge in prejudices either against women or minorities.

"The Sun must be a positive voice for the future. It must be a force for good. It must always push boundaries. But it must do more than keep up with the times. In a very real way it must be part of the big debate that moves the country ahead."

Pierce was associate editor of the Express on Sunday before he returned to The Times in 1999.

He had worked for The Times for 10 years and had risen to No.3 on its political team before he left the first time.

Jones began her career at The Mail on Sunday, moving to The Sun as deputy editor of Bizarre editor in 2000 before being poached by Smash Hits for its top job a year later.

By Jean Morgan

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