Former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott’s Sunday Mirror column has been axed after five years, reportedly due to cutbacks at the paper.
Prescott included a line in yesterday’s column, in which he reacted to Chancellor Philip Hammond’s Spring Statement and advocated raising taxes, to warn readers he would imminently be leaving the newspaper.
He wrote: “I’m afraid I’ll soon be saying goodbye. Due to cutbacks, the Sunday Mirror has decided to end this column.”
The line was not included in the online version of the column.
Prescott joined the Sunday Mirror as a columnist in 2013, when he said he was able to speak his mind “like never before” after leaving the Government, where he had served under Labour leader Tony Blair.
He also said he hoped to show more of his “humorous, human self, the bloke that can take the mickey out of himself” in the column.
In 2015, after Trinity Mirror formally apologised for phone hacking carried out in the past, Prescott wrote that it “seems a lot of tabloid papers in the past were contaminated with this appalling practice.
“But that’s no excuse. We expect more from the Mirror.” He also called on the Sunday Mirror to support the Royal Charter on press regulation.
A Trinity Mirror spokesperson confirmed the Prescott column is going but declined to comment on cutbacks at the paper.
Earlier this month, Trinity Mirror, which announced it is changing its name to Reach following its takeover of Express Newspapers, reported a £90m (13 per cent) fall in group revenue to £632m last year.
The company said it is targeting a further £15m in cost savings in 2018 after delivering £20m of “structural cost savings” in 2017.
Picture: Reuters/Action Images/Ed Sykes