Telegraph staff quit as regional offices are axed

Two Daily Telegraph staffers fighting the closure of their regional offices have lost their long-running grievance complaints.

Thames Valley correspondent Stewart Payne resigned from the paper this Wednesday as a result. South East England reporter David Sapsted resigned at the beginning of October, after 17 years with the paper.

Payne, 54, said: ‘After 25 years on Fleet Street travelling the world, I was approached by the Telegraph in 2001 for the Thames Valley job.

‘My contract states that my job title is Thames Valley correspondent. I was told without consultation that my district office was being closed and that a big senior role was there for me in London.”

Payne said he resigned because his domestic arrangements now made it impossible for him to commuteto London.

His notice period expired in mid-September, but he said he stayed on until the end of a grievance procedure, which he said had been going on for seven months. It ended this week with his complaint being rejected.

Payne, who is a former British Press Awards investigative journalist of the year, said: ‘It’s a great shame that the Telegraph has lost so many of its highly respected and senior reporters.”

He now plans to freelance in the Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire area and work on book projects.

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