Paul Dacre
Paul Michael Dacre is a British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 journalist and current editor of the British newspaper
A newspaper is a scheduled publication containing news of current events, informative articles, diverse features and advertising. It usually is printed on relatively inexpensive, low-grade paper such as newsprint. By 2007, there were 6580 daily newspapers in the world selling 395 million copies a...

 the Daily Mail
Daily Mail
The Daily Mail is a British daily middle-market tabloid newspaper owned by the Daily Mail and General Trust. First published in 1896 by Lord Northcliffe, it is the United Kingdom's second biggest-selling daily newspaper after The Sun. Its sister paper The Mail on Sunday was launched in 1982...

. He is also editor in chief of the Mail group titles, which also includes The Mail on Sunday
The Mail on Sunday
The Mail on Sunday is a British conservative newspaper, currently published in a tabloid format. First published in 1982 by Lord Rothermere, it became Britain's biggest-selling Sunday newspaper following the closing of The News of the World in July 2011...

. He is also a director of the Daily Mail and General Trust plc and was a member of the Press Complaints Commission
Press Complaints Commission
The Press Complaints Commission is a voluntary regulatory body for British printed newspapers and magazines, consisting of representatives of the major publishers. The PCC is funded by the annual levy it charges newspapers and magazines...

 from 1999 to 2008. He left in order to become chairman of the PCC's Editors’ Code of Practice Committee from April 2008.

Early life

Dacre's father, Peter Dacre, was a prominent journalist on the Sunday Express
Daily Express
The Daily Express switched from broadsheet to tabloid in 1977 and was bought by the construction company Trafalgar House in the same year. Its publishing company, Beaverbrook Newspapers, was renamed Express Newspapers...

 whose work included show business features. Nigel Dacre, another son, was editor of ITV
ITV is the major commercial public service TV network in the United Kingdom. Launched in 1955 under the auspices of the Independent Television Authority to provide competition to the BBC, it is also the oldest commercial network in the UK...

's news programmes from 1995 to 2002. Paul Dacre was educated at University College School
University College School
University College School, generally known as UCS, is an Independent school charity situated in Hampstead, north west London, England. The school was founded in 1830 by University College London and inherited many of that institution's progressive and secular views...

, an independent school
Independent school
An independent school is a school that is independent in its finances and governance; it is not dependent upon national or local government for financing its operations, nor reliant on taxpayer contributions, and is instead funded by a combination of tuition charges, gifts, and in some cases the...

 in Hampstead
Hampstead is an area of London, England, north-west of Charing Cross. Part of the London Borough of Camden in Inner London, it is known for its intellectual, liberal, artistic, musical and literary associations and for Hampstead Heath, a large, hilly expanse of parkland...

, on a state scholarship, and grew up in the London suburb of Arnos Grove
Arnos Grove
Arnos Grove is an area in the south west corner of the London Borough of Enfield, England.It sits close to Enfield's borders with two other boroughs: Barnet and Haringey...

 in Enfield
London Borough of Enfield
The London Borough of Enfield is the most northerly London borough and forms part of Outer London. It borders the London Boroughs of Barnet, Haringey and Waltham Forest...

. In his school holidays, Dacre worked as a messenger at the Sunday Express, and during his pre-university gap year as a trainee in the Daily Express. From 1967 he read English at the University of Leeds
University of Leeds
The University of Leeds is a British Redbrick university located in the city of Leeds, West Yorkshire, England...

 and during this period met his future wife, Kathleen, now a drama teacher.

Whilst at university, he became involved with the Leeds Student
Leeds Student
Leeds Student is a British weekly student newspaper, published free every Friday during term-time and distributed around the University of Leeds, Leeds, England. The only paid position is that of the editor, who is elected yearly by members of Leeds University Union. The articles are written by...

 newspaper, rising to the position of editor. At this time he identified with the liberal end of the political spectrum on issues including gay rights and drug use, and wrote editorials in support of a student sit-in at Leeds organised by Jack Straw
Jack Straw
Jack Straw , British politician.Jack Straw may also refer to:* Jack Straw , English* "Jack Straw" , 1971 song by the Grateful Dead* Jack Straw by W...

. "'If you don’t have a left-wing period when you go to university, you should be shot'", he says. On graduation in 1971 he joined the Daily Express
Daily Express
The Daily Express switched from broadsheet to tabloid in 1977 and was bought by the construction company Trafalgar House in the same year. Its publishing company, Beaverbrook Newspapers, was renamed Express Newspapers...

 in Manchester for a six month trial; subsequent to this he was given a full time job on the Express. He once commented that "there was never any desire to do anything other than journalism".


At the Express, Dacre worked as correspondent in a variety of locations before being sent to Washington in 1976 to cover that year's American presidential election
United States presidential election, 1976
The United States presidential election of 1976 followed the resignation of President Richard Nixon in the wake of the Watergate scandal. It pitted incumbent President Gerald Ford, the Republican candidate, against the relatively unknown former governor of Georgia, Jimmy Carter, the Democratic...

 and later moved to New York. It was at this time that his politics shifted to the right:
After spending several years at the Express bureau, Dacre was head-hunted by David English
David English (journalist)
Sir David English was a British journalist and newspaper editor, best known for his twenty-year editorship of the Daily Mail.-Early life:...

 to be Bureau chief for the Mail in 1980, but was brought back to the UK in 1982 after fifteen months to be deputy news editor. The following period saw Dacre work in most of the newspaper's departments as assistant editor.

He became editor of the Evening Standard
Evening Standard
The Evening Standard, now styled the London Evening Standard, is a free local daily newspaper, published Monday–Friday in tabloid format in London. It is the dominant regional evening paper for London and the surrounding area, with coverage of national and international news and City of London...

 in March 1991 and replaced Sir David English
David English (journalist)
Sir David English was a British journalist and newspaper editor, best known for his twenty-year editorship of the Daily Mail.-Early life:...

 the following year as editor of the Daily Mail, after turning down an offer from Rupert Murdoch
Rupert Murdoch
Keith Rupert Murdoch, AC, KSG is an Australian-American business magnate. He is the founder and Chairman and CEO of , the world's second-largest media conglomerate....

 to edit The Times
The Times
The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register . The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary since 1981 of News International...

. Dacre believed "that he would not accept my desire to edit with freedom". It was his approach to the job of editor - "hard-working, disciplined, confrontational" - which had led Murdoch to attempt to hire him. For the Mail Dacre was considered important enough for English to become editor-in-chief, a job title often seen as a means of sidelining someone considered unsackable. After David English's death in March 1998, Dacre himself became the Mail Group's editor-in-chief the following July, in addition to remaining as editor of the Daily Mail. For the year to 28 September 2008, as editor of the Mail, Dacre received £1.62m in salary and cash payments, an increase from the £1.49m of the previous year.

Stephen Lawrence case

Dacre's most prominent newspaper campaign was in 1997, against the suspects who were acquitted of the murder in 1993 of the black teenager Stephen Lawrence
Stephen Lawrence
Stephen Lawrence was a black British teenager from Eltham, southeast London, who was stabbed to death while waiting for a bus on the evening of 22 April 1993....

. According to Nick Davies
Nick Davies
Nick Davies is a British investigative journalist, writer and documentary maker.Davies has written extensively as a freelancer, as well as for The Guardian and The Observer, and been named Reporter of the Year Journalist of the Year and Feature Writer of the Year at the British Press Awards...

 in Flat Earth News the paper originally intended an attack on the groups arguing for an inquiry into the Lawrence murder, but the paper's "only black reporter" Hal Austin, on interviewing Neville and Doreen Lawrence, realised that Neville had worked years earlier on Dacre's Islington house as a plasterer, and the news desk instructed Austin to "Do something sympathetic" about the case. Dacre eventually used the headline "MURDERERS" accusing the suspects of the crime. He repeated this headline in 2006.

On the final day of the inquest held at the coroner’s court, Dacre and other Mail executives had lunch with Sir Paul Condon
Paul Condon, Baron Condon
Paul Leslie Condon, Baron Condon, QPM, DL, FRSA is a retired British police officer. He was the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police from 1993 to 2000.-Education:...

, then Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police
Metropolitan Police Service
The Metropolitan Police Service is the territorial police force responsible for Greater London, excluding the "square mile" of the City of London which is the responsibility of the City of London Police...

, "who very eloquently told me they were as guilty as sin". Four of the five suspects had never provided any alibi
Alibi is a 1929 American crime film directed by Roland West. The screenplay was written by West and C. Gardner Sullivan, who adapted the 1927 Broadway stage play, Nightstick, written by Elaine Sterne Carrington, J.C...

 for their whereabouts on the night of Stephen Lawrence's murder and they invoked the privilege against self incrimination to avoid giving evidence and exposing themselves to cross examination. The police believed that the alibi of the fifth suspect was unconvincing. The newspaper on 14 February 1997, under its headline asserted: "The Mail accuses these men of killing. If we are wrong, let them sue us". No claim was issued and the newspaper received significant acclaim and opprobrium as a result.

On other occasions, the Mail under Dacre has been criticised for its racist attitude towards the stories it chooses to cover. Nick Davies recounts an anecdote from a former senior news reporter who en route to a murder scene 300 miles away of a woman and her two children was told to return because: "They're black." Davies comments: "Perhaps I have been unlucky, but I have never come across a reporter from the Daily Mail who did not have some similar story, of black people being excluded from the paper because of their colour."


Seen as "highly influential politically" by the conservative journalist Simon Heffer
Simon Heffer
Simon James Heffer is a British journalist, columnist and writer.-Education:Heffer was educated at King Edward VI Grammar School in Chelmsford and Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.-Career:...

, Dacre said, in a talk given to students in January 2007, that the Conservative Party
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

 cannot be guaranteed the Mail's support at the 2010 general election, and he also queried whether the party was still conservative
Conservatism is a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and supports, at the most, minimal and gradual change in society. Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others oppose modernism...


Indeed, the Mail under Dacre briefly had positive views of New Labour until the Ecclestone scandal and clashes with the government's Director of Communications Alastair Campbell
Alastair Campbell
Alastair John Campbell is a British journalist, broadcaster, political aide and author, best known for his work as Director of Communications and Strategy for Prime Minister Tony Blair between 1997 and 2003, having first started working for Blair in 1994...

 cooled the relationship thanks to the practice of spin doctoring. Dacre said in 2004:
As recounted by John Lloyd in 2004 though, Tim Allan
Tim Allan
Tim Allan is a public relations consultant and was an advisor to Tony Blair from 1992 to 1998. He is the founder and managing director of Portland Communications in London, England...

, Campbell's assistant in Labour's first term, saw "'the government [spend] years trying to be chummy with the Daily Mail... Blair sees himself as the great persuader, able to convince anyone. But they didn't want to like him. The government raised far too much time trying to turn the Mail around'"

The newspaper also turned against Cherie Blair
Cherie Blair
Cherie Blair , known professionally as Cherie Booth QC, is a British barrister working in the legal system of England and Wales. She is married to the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Tony Blair; the couple have three sons and one daughter...

, the former Prime Minister's wife, when the Blairs' lawyers prevented the publication of a former nanny's memoirs; official regulations prevent press revelations regarding the children of public figures. The Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday also came into direct conflict with No. 10 late in 2002 for their pursuit of Cherie Blair's connection to the conman Peter Foster
Peter Foster
Peter Clarence Foster is an Australian who has been convicted and jailed on three continents for offences involving weight loss products and property transactions....

. Tony Blair
Tony Blair
Anthony Charles Lynton Blair is a former British Labour Party politician who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2 May 1997 to 27 June 2007. He was the Member of Parliament for Sedgefield from 1983 to 2007 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007...

 targeted the Mail titles directly, denouncing "parts of the media that will take what there is that is true and then turn it round into something that is a total distortion of the real truth". Dacre asserted in response: "The Mail has no agenda apart from good journalism".

Reportedly though, Dacre saw the former Prime Minister
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the Head of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister and Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Sovereign, to Parliament, to their political party and...

 Gordon Brown
Gordon Brown
James Gordon Brown is a British Labour Party politician who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Labour Party from 2007 until 2010. He previously served as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Labour Government from 1997 to 2007...

 as a "kindred spirit". In 2002, when Brown was Chancellor of the Exchequer
Chancellor of the Exchequer
The Chancellor of the Exchequer is the title held by the British Cabinet minister who is responsible for all economic and financial matters. Often simply called the Chancellor, the office-holder controls HM Treasury and plays a role akin to the posts of Minister of Finance or Secretary of the...

, Dacre commented: "I have an awful lot of admiration for Gordon Brown. I feel he is one of the very few politicians of this administration who's touched by the mantle of greatness". Brown returned the favour to Dacre at an event at the Savoy Hotel
Savoy Hotel
The Savoy Hotel is a hotel located on the Strand, in the City of Westminster in central London. Built by impresario Richard D'Oyly Carte with profits from his Gilbert and Sullivan operas, the hotel opened on 6 August 1889. It was the first in the Savoy group of hotels and restaurants owned by...

 which celebrated the tenth anniversary of his editorship of the Mail in 2003. In a video presentation, the then Chancellor of the Exchequer said that Dacre "has devised, developed and delivered one of the great newspaper success stories of any generation" and was "someone of great journalistic skill, an editor of great distinction and someone of very great personal warmth". The Home Secretary David Blunkett
David Blunkett
David Blunkett is a British Labour Party politician and the Member of Parliament for Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough, having represented Sheffield Brightside from 1987 to 2010...

 was present at the event in person and also praised Dacre.

Editorial strategy

According to the academic and journalist John Lloyd
John Lloyd (UK journalist)
John Lloyd is a journalist, presently contributing editor to the Financial Times, where he has been Labour Editor, Industrial editor, East European Editor and Moscow Bureau Chief....

, Dacre is currently the only "British newspaper editor who stamps himself on his newspaper every morning" reflecting "his unique blend of libertarian-authoritarian Conservatism". For his admirers, Dacre has maintained his newspaper's defence of family values and the 'small-c' conservative interests of the suburban middle-classes in the south of England. Dacre once suggested to a new recruit, the sports columnist Des Kelly
Des Kelly
Des Kelly is a British journalist and broadcaster. The award-winning sports columnist for The Daily Mail appears In the paper every Saturday, having joined in 2004....

, that he should "Make them laugh, make them cry, or make them angry". From the business point of view, Dacre's time as editor has been highly successful: "no editor can point to rises in sales that come anywhere near Dacre's in the [first] 10 years that he has been in the job".

Dacre's stated objective is:
He has pursued a strategy of appointing star columnists established at other newspapers at significantly raised salaries. This practice led to a legal entanglement with The Sun when the terms of Richard Littlejohn
Richard Littlejohn
Richard William Littlejohn is an English author, broadcaster and journalist. He is noted for his Conservative views and currently writes a twice-weekly column for the Daily Mail....

's contract came in to conflict with his obligations to his former newspaper in 2005. Dacre's appearance in the High Court was only averted by a few days. Even critics, such as Peter Wilby, consider the Mail "a technically brilliant paper".

At the end of 2007, there was speculation in the press over Paul Dacre's future at the Daily Mail. Dacre is known to have a heart condition. He was off work for three months in mid-2007, and for three weeks that autumn with what was described as "gastric flu". Stephen Glover, a Mail columnist, wrote urging the parent company DMGT
Daily Mail and General Trust
Daily Mail and General Trust plc is a British media conglomerate, one of the largest in Europe. In the UK, it has interests in national and regional newspapers, television and radio. The company has extensive activities based outside the UK, through Northcliffe Media, DMG Radio Australia, DMG World...

 to make a statement ending the uncertainty, which it did four days later, reaffirming Dacre's position.


Dacre's editorship of the Daily Mail is frequently criticised. According to Cristina Odone
Cristina Odone
Cristina Patricia Odone is a journalist, editor, and writer living in the United Kingdom. She has written for several newspapers, and was formerly the editor of The Catholic Herald, and deputy editor of the New Statesman.- Career :...

 in The Observer
The Observer
The Observer is a British newspaper, published on Sundays. In the same place on the political spectrum as its daily sister paper The Guardian, which acquired it in 1993, it takes a liberal or social democratic line on most issues. It is the world's oldest Sunday newspaper.-Origins:The first issue,...

, Dacre has a reputation towards underlings of "verbal abuse [and] a drill sergeant's delight in public humiliation" which also includes swearing at them. According to Nick Davies in his book Flat Earth News his staff call his morning editorial meetings the "Vagina Monologues" because of his habit of calling everybody a "cunt
Cunt is a vulgarism, primarily referring to the female genitalia, specifically the vulva, and including the cleft of Venus. The earliest citation of this usage in the 1972 Oxford English Dictionary, c 1230, refers to the London street known as Gropecunt Lane...


For the journalist Polly Toynbee
Polly Toynbee
Polly Toynbee is a British journalist and writer, and has been a columnist for The Guardian newspaper since 1998. She is a social democrat and broadly supports the Labour Party, while urging it in many areas to be more left-wing...

 the newspaper is a "daily blast of fear and loathing" and Dacre himself is "the most arrogant bully of us all". Toynbee has also criticised the Mail under Dacre for its attitude to women. In 2007 Toynbee claimed it shared the opinions of Iran's President Ahmadinejad when it responded to his country's release of the hostage Faye Turney
2007 Iranian seizure of Royal Navy personnel
Iranian military personnel seized 15 Royal Navy personnel during 2007 and held them for 13 days. On 23 March 2007, 15 British Royal Navy personnel, from HMS Cornwall, searching a merchant vessel were surrounded by the Navy of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and subsequently detained off the...

 in April 2007. According to Simon O'Hagan in The Independent: "As far as Dacre is concerned, women have no right to go out and earn money of their own, let alone rise to positions of power, when they also have a family". Rachel Johnson
Rachel Johnson
Rachel Johnson is an English editor, journalist and author based in London.Johnson is the daughter of former Conservative MEP Stanley Johnson and artist Charlotte Johnson Wahl , the daughter of Sir James Fawcett, a prominent barrister and president of the European Commission of Human Rights...

 in the The Independent in 2001 noted that photographs taken of women for the features pages of the Mail must comply with the 'Dacre Rules'. She quotes a Mail photographer: "No jeans. No black [clothes]. No trousers. Paul Dacre only wants women to appear wearing dresses. If skirts, only to the knee."

In 2005, the then Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone
Ken Livingstone
Kenneth Robert "Ken" Livingstone is an English politician who is currently a member of the centrist to centre-left Labour Party...

, long in conflict with the London Evening Standard, then wholly owned by the same media group as the Mail, branded the Mail titles "the most reprehensibly edited" publications in the world. The Mail's treatment of asylum seekers and members of other vulnerable groups is a particular source of grievance for many critics, not only Livingstone. "Maybe we anti-racists have been naive to think that [the Stephen Lawrence campaign] was anything more than an aberration," suggests Yasmin Alibhai-Brown
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown MBE is a Ugandan-born British journalist and author, who describes herself as a "leftie liberal, anti-racist, feminist, Muslim, part-Pakistani...a very responsible person"...

, adding "wouldn't it be better if this extraordinary editor decided to use his influence to create just a little more understanding of why refugees leave their countries, and what most of them bring to our nation?"

Martin Kettle
Martin Kettle
Martin James Kettle is a British journalist and author. The son of two prominent communist activists Arnold Kettle and Margot Kettle , Martin Kettle was educated at Leeds Modern School and Balliol College, Oxford University.Kettle worked for the National Council for Civil Liberties as a research...

, a columnist in The Guardian, has questioned whether Dacre's assertion that the Mail represents Conservative voters can be sustained. Kettle points out that in the 2005 general election
United Kingdom general election, 2005
The United Kingdom general election of 2005 was held on Thursday, 5 May 2005 to elect 646 members to the British House of Commons. The Labour Party under Tony Blair won its third consecutive victory, but with a majority of 66, reduced from 160....

 22% of Mail readers voted Labour
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

, 14% for the Liberal Democrats and 7% for other non-Conservative candidates. "In this respect, therefore, the editor who claims to have a hotline to the national mood turns out to have something of a crossed line instead", Kettle wrote.

On 23 June 2011, solicitors representing Associated Newspapers threatened media blogger Kevin Arscott with legal action for "defamation" unless he removed a blog post critical of Dacre. The blogger complied with the solicitors' demands and removed the original post.

The actor Steve Coogan
Steve Coogan
Stephen John "Steve" Coogan is a British comedian, actor, writer and producer. Born in Manchester, he began his career as a standup comedian and impressionist, working as a voice artist throughout the 1980s on satirical puppet show Spitting Image. In the early nineties, Coogan began creating...

, speaking before the Leveson Inquiry
Leveson Inquiry
The Leveson Inquiry is an ongoing public inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the British press following the News International phone hacking scandal. On 6 July 2011, Prime Minister David Cameron announced to Parliament that a public government inquiry would convene to further...

, observed that days after speaking negatively about Dacre on Newsnight
Newsnight is a BBC Television current affairs programme noted for its in-depth analysis and often robust cross-examination of senior politicians. Jeremy Paxman has been its main presenter for over two decades....

, negative stories about him were rehashed in the Daily Mail.


For Kelvin MacKenzie
Kelvin MacKenzie
Kelvin Calder MacKenzie is an English media executive and former newspaper editor. He is best known for being editor of The Sun newspaper between 1981 and 1994, an era in which the paper was established as Britain's best selling newspaper.- Biography :MacKenzie was educated at Alleyn's School...

, the former Editor of The Sun
The Sun (newspaper)
The Sun is a daily national tabloid newspaper published in the United Kingdom and owned by News Corporation. Sister editions are published in Glasgow and Dublin...

, he is "comfortably Britain’s finest editor" who arrives at work "determined to crush the life out of his rivals". Publicist Max Clifford
Max Clifford
Maxwell Frank Clifford is an English publicist, considered the highest-profile and best-known publicist in the United Kingdom...

 has commented that "Paul Dacre is virtually a law [un]to himself" in not being influenced by the Daily Mails publisher.

A MORI poll in 2005 asked 30 editors from the national and regional press and from the broadcasting industry for the name of the editor they most admired. Dacre won the poll.

Public appearances

Paul Dacre has the reputation for avoiding publicity and rarely gives interviews. He is acknowledged to be a shy man who feels uncomfortable in the limelight and would prefer to "potter in his garden" than maintain a high profile in London's media circles, and he takes a dim view of 'celebrity editors' such as the former editor of the Daily Mirror, Piers Morgan
Piers Morgan
Piers Stefan Pughe-Morgan , known professionally as Piers Morgan, is a British journalist and television presenter. He is editorial director of First News, a national newspaper for children....

 Responding to comments on his more limited public visibility, he claims that:
Dacre gave the Cudlipp
Hugh Cudlipp
Hubert "Hugh" Kinsman Cudlipp, Baron Cudlipp, OBE , was a Welsh journalist and newspaper editor noted for his work on the Daily Mirror in the 1950s and 60s.- Life and career :...

 Lecture at the London College of Communication on 22 January 2007. For him, Britain is dominated by a "subsidariat", those newspapers whose "journalism and values - invariably liberal, metropolitan and politically correct, and I include the pinkish Times here - don't connect with sufficient readers to be commercially viable" and make a profit. Dacre also attacked the BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 as a "monolith" pursuing "Cultural Marxism
Cultural Marxism
Cultural Marxism is a term referring to a group of Marxists who have sought to apply critical theory to matters of family composition, gender, race, and cultural identity within Western society.-Explanation of the "Cultural Marxism" theory:...

" which has a singular world view and is contemptuous of "ordinary people". In The Guardian Peter Wilby claimed that Dacre's speech made "many listeners feel they were stuck in the back of a taxi with a particularly boring and opinionated driver".

On 9 November 2008, Dacre gave a speech in which he was critical of the emerging pressures for privacy laws following the conclusion of the Max Mosley
Max Mosley
Max Rufus Mosley is the former president of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile , a non-profit association that represents the interests of motoring organisations and car users worldwide...

 libel case against the News of the World
News of the World
The News of the World was a national red top newspaper published in the United Kingdom from 1843 to 2011. It was at one time the biggest selling English language newspaper in the world, and at closure still had one of the highest English language circulations...

 and Mr Justice Eady
David Eady
Sir David Eady , styled The Hon. Mr Justice Eady, in legal writing Eady J, is a High Court judge in England and Wales. As a judge he is known for having presided over many high-profile libel and privacy cases....

's closing remarks. Dacre and the PCC were criticised directly by Mosley in March 2009 at a meeting of the culture, media and sport committee at the House of Commons. but Dacre defended the newspaper industry's current system of self-regulation under the Press Complaints Commission
Press Complaints Commission
The Press Complaints Commission is a voluntary regulatory body for British printed newspapers and magazines, consisting of representatives of the major publishers. The PCC is funded by the annual levy it charges newspapers and magazines...

 (PCC) in his statement accompanying the annual report published in 2010. In April 2009 Dacre made a further appearance in front of the House of Commons CMSSC where he criticised current libel laws and the fees charged by law firms.

Other activities

Paul Dacre chaired an independent inquiry, commissioned by Gordon Brown, on the release of government information which reported at the end of January 2009. In particular it recommended the halving of the Thirty year rule
Thirty year rule
The "thirty year rule" is the popular name given to a law in the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, and Australia that provides that the yearly cabinet papers of a government will be released publicly thirty years after they were created....

in the remaining areas where it still applies. Dacre wrote: "the existing rule seemed to condone unnecessary secrecy rather than protecting necessary confidentiality. This perception of secrecy was breeding public cynicism." In addition it called for "as a matter of urgency" a review of the government's methods of preserving information held digitally for their long-term survival. It also called for an independent review of the "Radcliffe" rules, which apply to the information released in the memoirs of former ministers, in the light of the changes it recommended.
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