The editor of one of Britain’s traditionally most Islamophobic newspapers has pledged that it will turn a new leaf.
In an interview with The Guardian, Gary Jones said he was horrified after searching for Daily Express front pages on Google shortly after accepting the job a year ago, only to see headlines such as: “At last! May gets tough on migrants!”, “How migrants snatched our homes”, and “Britain’s 40% surge in ethnic numbers.”
“I just couldn’t sleep,” he said. “People had collated every front page which was anti-immigrant. It was certainly Islamophobic. This was not representative of the kind of society I think we should be.”
In his first news meeting as editor, Gary Jones told Express staff not to put anti-immigrant stories on the schedule.
He is a lifelong Labour supporter who voted Remain, wants to promote the positive impact migration has on the UK, thinks Brexit is going badly, and has pledged to do all he can to fight Islamophobia.
“The Express was undoubtedly anti-immigrant, despite the fact that without immigration we would not have a National Health Service,” said Gary Jones.
The turning point in the newspaper’s editorial stance seems to have been the takeover by Reach Plc which bought the Daily Express and Daily Star titles from former pornographer and major Ukip donor Richard Desmond.
Since then Jones has placed an emphasis on exclusive, original, campaigning and investigative stories about care home abuse and the NHS, while turning down coverage of Tommy Robinson and Steve Bannon.