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Daily Express deputy editor says he feels 'slightly responsible' for current political chaos due to paper's Brexit stance

The Daily Express’s deputy editor has said he feels “slightly responsible” for the current political climate as four ministers quit in protest at Theresa May’s Brexit deal today.

Michael Booker, who also edits the Sunday Express, said: “I feel slightly responsible, being from the Daily Express.”

Speaking at Mindshare’s Huddle event in London today, Booker admitted he voted “remain” in the EU Referendum in 2016, but said the Express’ stance on Brexit was determined by its readers.

“You’ve got to play your strengths with your readers,” he said.

“400,000 of them signed a petition calling for a referendum. They didn’t think it would come to this particular situation… The politicians are making an absolute hash of it.”

Booker (pictured, right) added: “We are in a sticky position. It isn’t the Daily Express’ fault, but we will be covering it every step of the way.”

After Theresa May announced yesterday that she had received backing from the cabinet for a Brexit deal, the Express showed support for the Prime Minister this morning in a leader column describing it as “the best outcome we could expect” and praising her for “being completely honest with us”.

The front page showed a “determined” May speaking in Downing Street last night under the defiant headline: “It’s my deal… or no Brexit.”

Other Brexit-supporting papers were split on the deal, with the Daily Mail praising May for negotiating a “historic deal” against “insuperable odds” and the Sun splashing on the headline: “We’re in the Brexs*it”.

Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab, Brexit Minister Suella Braverman, Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey and Northern Ireland Minister Shailesh Vara all quit today in protest at the deal.

Also speaking at the Have Reach Got News For You panel, Reach group editor-in-chief Lloyd Embley said he did not think Brexit was going to happen. “It’s increasingly looking like a general election,” he added.

Embley told the Society of Editors annual conference earlier this month that changing the Brexit stance of the Daily Express would be “commercial suicide – so we won’t do it”.

Daily Express editor Gary Jones told Press Gazette soon after his appointment in March that it was important the newspaper maintained its support of Brexit.

“I’ve done a couple of front page wipe-outs which have pushed Brexit,” he said. “One was a picture of the white cliffs of Dover and a great quote from Boris Johnson that I think had a bit of impact.

“That to me is important and that’s what the Express and its politics is about.”

Picture: Press Gazette

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5 thoughts on “Daily Express deputy editor says he feels 'slightly responsible' for current political chaos due to paper's Brexit stance”

  1. Poor Mr Booker, he feels ‘slightly’ responsible. The press routinely manipulates it’s readership for a variety of reasons and sponsors so for Mr Booker to claim a conscience is quite frankly insulting. How much clearer can it be, as Mr Embley confirms,
    “…that changing the Brexit stance of the Daily Express would be “commercial suicide – so we won’t do it”.
    If Mr Booker really had a conscience why not allow readers to choose what to believe instead of being told.

  2. Michael Booker has in the past 20 minutes (at 0748 Hrs GMT Saturday 17 November 2018) (SkyNews) criticised the Guardian
    for positively covering the UN Rapporteur Philip Alston’s preliminary reports on Extreme Poverty in the UK, which Also published on Friday.
    Booker echoed today’s Murdoch owned Sun piece attacking the Alston/UN report on Poverty in the UK.
    Could not be the same “deputy editor” of the Daily Express who apparently was having a pang of conscience
    over the Express’ role in Brexit?
    Alston actually says that most people in Poverty in Britain, over 14 million, were going to suffer even worse
    effects from Brexit!
    That the UK Govt was in Denial about the many Poverty-causing policies of the UK State has been the most powerful evidence-based narrative advanced by thousands of campaigners and victims in the UK active in the UK for the past decade, regardless of what Party or Parties was/were in the central Govt offices.
    What Philip Alston has said is a tip of the iceberg. He has been EXTREMELY restrained in his “criticism”.

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