Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre was only individual offered hospitality at Downing Street in last quarter of 2016

Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre was the only individual invited for an official dinner at Number Ten by Prime Minister Theresa May in the last three months of 2016.

The event was recorded in transparency documents released yesterday.

May also hosted a “business engagement dinner” in the last quarter for representatives from a group of leading UK companies.

Dacre’s paper supported May’s bid to be Conservative Party leader and former Daily Mail political editor James Slack is her offical spokesperson.

The documents also record meetings between May and the following journalists: Daily Telegraph editor Chris Evans, BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg, Sky political editor Faisal Islam, ITV News political editor Robert Peston, Times editor John Witherow (twice), Sunday Times editor Martin Ivens, Sun editor Tony Gallagher, Sun on Sunday editor Victoria Newton, BBC journalist Andrew Neil and FT editor Lionel Barber.

Dacre is known for keeping his distance from political figures.

In terms of prime ministers he is thought to have been close to Gordon Brown, but disliked Tony Blair and according to a recent book, Mail Men, he went through a spell of refusing to take phone calls from David Cameron.

Last year Cameron reportedly invited Dacre to Downing Street for an informal evening meeting at which he tried to persuade him to tone down his paper’s stance on Europe. When that failed, he reportedly told Daily Mail owner Lord Rothermere he should sack Dacre as editor.

In a 2008 speech to the Society of Editors Dacre said: “Editors are troublemakers who invariably fall out with the authorities. Editors can’t get too close to anyone.

“Too often those who befriend them, do it for one of two reasons: they want to get something into the paper or, more likely, keep it out. A good editor has to be an outsider. Being an outsider can be very lonely.”

Dacre marks 25 years as editor of the Daily Mail this summer.


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