Peter Oborne is stopping his weekly Daily Mail political column after claiming reporters – including those at the Mail – were being used by Number 10 to spread “fake news”.
The columnist made his comments in an article for Open Democracy, accusing lobby journalists of “peddling Downing Street’s lies and smears”.
Oborne will still write the occasional column for the paper, according to a Mail spokesperson, but it is understood he decided not to renew his current contract which is about to expire.
“I’ve not been fired,” said Oborne in a tweet earlier. “I’m giving up my weekly column on the Daily Mail but look forward to writing for the Mail and other publications in the future.”
In an article for Open Democracy, Oborne claimed Downing Street is using lobby reporters to spread “propaganda and fake news”.
He added: “British political journalists have got chillingly close to providing the same service to Boris Johnson that Fox News delivers for Donald Trump.”
Targets of Oborne’s attack included the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday as well as the Sunday Times and BBC.
Oborne accused BBC media editor and former Independent editor Amol Rajan of being a “crony journalist” during a live interview with him on BBC Radio 2 yesterday. Rajan asked Oborne if he had any evidence for his claim.
Oborne rejoined the Daily Mail in June 2015 after resigning from the Daily Telegraph in protest over what he saw as a lack of integrity at the newspaper. He previously wrote for the Mail between 2006 and 2010.