Paul Dacre leaves the Daily Mail after 42 years | Paul Dacre

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Paul Dacre has stepped down as chairman of the parent company of the Daily Mail, sources say, with the newspaper also no longer paying for its secretary and driver.

Although Dacre stepped down as editor of the Daily Mail in 2018, he remained on the payroll after obtaining the largely honorary positions of chairman and editor of parent company Associated Newspapers.

Two people with knowledge of the situation said that arrangement ended last week, with Dacre also losing access to his personal support staff. His departure from the company nearly marks the end of Dacre’s 42-year association with the Daily Mail, which included a quarter of a century as editor.

A source suggested it was the company’s decision to let Dacre go after being president for exactly three years. The Daily Mail declined to comment, while Dacre could not be contacted.

The departure paves the way for Dacre, 72, to re-run for president of media regulator Ofcom after failing the interview process in the previous attempt despite support from Downing Street.

Dacre, a leading Brexit campaigner, was rarely seen in the Daily Mail newsroom after moving upstairs to an office on the executive floor of the company’s headquarters in Northcliffe House, in the West London.

He used his position to choose battles with Geordie Greig, his successor as editor of the Daily Mail. In an intervention, Dacre wrote a public letter to the Financial Times accusing Greig of being “economical with the news” when it came to suggesting that advertisers thought the newspaper had become too toxic. He also accused Greig of not having sufficiently respected Dacre’s journalistic accomplishments.

News of Dacre’s departure comes after Daily Mail owner Viscount Rothermere, the great-grandson of the newspaper’s founder, announced he was set to complete a complicated series of financial deals related to the company. This will allow Rothermere to remove parent company DMGT from the stock market and gain full private control over the Daily Mail and its sister titles such as MailOnline, Metro and the i.

Dacre, who earned £ 2.7million in his last year as editor of the Daily Mail, is still the frontrunner to be named Ofcom chairman, with the government resuming the nomination process to his profit. The new job posting was rewritten to favor a more confrontational candidate after Dacre was found not to have met the original criteria on his first application.

If it succeeds on the second attempt, it will help guide policy on regulatory issues of social media platforms such as Facebook, complaints about TV news and surveillance of postal services.


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