News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch will decide whether The Sun will back Brexit in June’s referendum, the paper’s associate editor has confirmed.
The Sun has published 55 editorials on the European Union since September, all of which have been sceptical in tone. Nonetheless, the paper’s editor last month said he hadn’t “quite decided yet” whether the paper would back a leave vote. Mr Murdoch is known to support a globalist open borders agenda.
The Sun’s associate editor Trevor Kavanagh didn’t hesitate to name Mr Murdoch when quizzed on the BBC’s Newsnight over who would be setting the editorial agenda on the referendum question.
His comment came during a wider debate on fair editorial coverage of the arguments both for and against Britain remaining within the EU in the run up to a referendum on the question scheduled for June.
Challenged by Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair’s director of communications from 1997 to 2003, who claimed the paper was failing to deliver a balanced view of the facts, Mr Kavanagh shot back: “We are a newspaper. We are entitled to have a view, we are entitled to have an editorial view.
“We have always stated that we are against the European constitution, against the European single currency and we have always stated that we are against mass uncontrolled immigration. That’s the position from which we look through the prism.”
He added: “We can’t give you a verdict until we have weighed all the evidence in the paper and given both sides of the argument. But I think personally there is no argument. Europe is a mess.”
Earlier this month the paper’s editor Tony Gallagher said the question of whether The Sun would campaign for a Leave result had not yet been settled, but added that polling of the paper’s audience was a factor.
“We have written about 55 editorials on Europe since I arrived on the 14th of September and the tone of them is extremely sceptical.
“Does that mean we are going to campaign for Brexit? I don’t know, haven’t quite decided yet.”
Research commissioned when he first joined as editor found “the readership was pretty hostile to the European project,” he said, adding “That has guided some of our thinking editorially.”
However, despite the paper’s strong Eurosceptic credentials, the paper’s team may be holding off confirming The Sun’s official stance as Rupert Murdoch, chairman of News Corp which owns the paper is known to favour a globalist open borders agenda. This would suggest that he favours Britain remaining within the EU.
In January, Breitbart revealed how Mr Murdoch was using Fox News in America to promote Sen. Marco Rubio as the Republican presidential candidate thanks to Mr Rubio’s track record on open borders.
A month later a former news editor at The Times, another of News Corp’s British newspapers, accused Mr Murdoch of breaking a pledge to keep the paper politically neutral by attacking the Eurosceptic UK Independence Party and bolstering the pro-EU Conservative Party – and more specifically, the Prime Minister David Cameron’s position at the top of the party.
He cites an incident at the turn of the year when Mr Cameron was facing the prospect of mass-resignations from the Cabinet by pro-Brexit ministers; Mr Cameron and his favoured successor, Chancellor George Osborne, attended a Christmas party hosted by Mr Murdoch. Days later a piece was published in The Times lauding the Prime Minister.
The Times and The Sunday Times have followed this up with a string of articles designed to persuade Conservative voters to buck the trend among the party’s membership and vote in favour of remaining within the EU, including one piece suggesting that Margaret Thatcher would have voted ‘Remain’; a suggestion easily refuted by even a cursory glance at the late leader’s writings.