Lester Middlehurst, one of the high-profile writers poached by Richard Desmond for Express Newspapers 18 months ago, has quit and is returning to Associated Newspapers on contract on 6 May.
Celebrity interviewer Middlehurst was one of a number of well-known journalists who went to the Express after being offered high salaries. But he left on 28 February after the company tried to renegotiate his staff contract to make him a freelance.
He said: “I was unhappy with that, so I opted for voluntary redundancy. I am now going back to the Daily Mail on a freelance basis, on a retainer. I shall be doing what I did before and hopefully as prolifically.”
Middlehurst was at the Mail for 10 years before leaving for the Express and had worked for the Today newspaper before that.
“I want the luxury of working from home a little bit more and the benefits of being a freelance,” he said.