Sun associate editor Trevor Kavanagh: Rupert Murdoch will decide whether paper campaigns for Brexit

Rupert Murdoch will decide whether The Sun will back Brexit, the paper’s political editor revealed on BBC Newsnight last night.

Sun associate editor Trevor Kavanagh revealed the News Corp chief executive would decide which way the traditionally right-leaning paper would campaign.

When prompted by Evan Davis for an answer as to “who is going to make the decision for The Sun” Kavanagh didn’t hesitate in giving his answer as “Rupert Murdoch”.

The conversation was part of a wider discussion about fair editorial coverage of the arguments for Britain remaining in the European Union and for it leaving ahead of the in/out referendum on June 23.

Alastair Campbell, former Downing Street’s director of communications from 1997 to 2003, claimed the paper was failing to deliver a balanced view of the facts to help readers make up their minds.

He said: “The Sun has reported in the past that because of Europe we are going to get rid of Christmas. We are talking about big issues and my issue with [The Sun] is that you aren’t giving the public a fair, balanced coverage about these issues.”

Kavanagh said: “We are a newspaper. We are entitled to have a view, we are entitled to have an editorial view. We have always stated that we are against the European constitution, against the European single currency and we have always stated that we are against mass uncontrolled immigration. That’s the position from which we look through the prism.”

He added: “We can’t give you a verdict until we have weighed all the evidence in the paper and given both sides of the argument. But I think personally there is no argument. Europe is a mess.”

Earlier this month Sun editor Tony Gallagher was asked at a conference whether The Sun would be backing Brexit.

He said: "We have written about 55 editorials on Europe since I arrived on the 14th of September and the tone of them is extremely skeptical."

He added: "Does that mean we are going to campaign for Brexit? I don't know, haven't quite decided yet."
 
He said that one of the first things he did when he joined as editor was to commission research which found "the readership was pretty hostile to the European project". He said: "That has guided some of our thinking editorially."

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