Cox's openness costs Record Prince scoop

Record’s Cox could leave over campaign failure

Daily Record editor Peter Cox will not get the first interview with Prince William since he went to St Andrews University after all. The interview instead will go to the Press Association.

Cox was holidaying on a Caribbean cruise ship this week and uncontactable, but it was clear that rivals had made their ire known to St James’s Palace after Press Gazette revealed the interview would take place this month. A spate of stories and pictures about Prince William have already appeared in other nationals.

The Prince has given one-to-one interviews before but only to PA. Prince Charles’ private secretary Sir Michael Peat has promised editors, after they had made their displeasure known that Prince William was to favour one editor, that he and press secretary Collen Harris had agreed this interview should also go to PA.

Peat also said that the Palace had previously intended the interview would be given not just to Cox but to PA and one Scottish regional paper.

Cox had told Press Gazette he was to conduct the interview, a Daily Record photographer was to take the pictures and both were to be pooled for the rest of the Scottish press. The only change to that came when Cox agreed, before he went on holiday, it should also be made available to Scottish editions of the national newspapers.

Cox said then that he thought it was right the Record should get the interview first because it had been a campaign conducted by the paper with the Palace for eight months that had brought it about. Colleagues of Cox in Trinity Mirror were astonished that he had agreed to make public the news of the privileged interview before it had been done. Only four people at the Daily Record knew in advance.

There has been speculation in Scotland that Cox could leave over this and poor sales figures. In the new ABCs, sales for the Record are down another 1.9 per cent at 507,375.

But one insider said: “You could have God editing this paper and the figures would be no different. We are the only region in the UK where the Daily Mirror is discounting. They are selling at 15p and The Sun has said as long as they discount, we’ll discount.”

By Jean Morgan

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