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November 28, 2018updated 30 Sep 2022 7:10am

Daily Mail sketchwriter Quentin Letts leaves paper after 18 years to join Times, Sunday Times and Sun

By James Walker

The Daily Mail’s parliamentary sketch writer Quentin Letts has left the newspaper after 18 years to join The Times, The Sunday Times and The Sun.

Letts will write parliamentary sketches, book reviews and magazine features for The Times, also appearing on its Red Box political podcast and at events for Times+ members.

He will also write a regular column for the Sun and theatre reviews for the Sunday Times. All three titles are owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News UK.

In a statement on his move, Letts said: “It is a privilege to write for any newspaper, doubly so when it is as central to British public life as The Times, The Sunday Times or The Sun.

“I have had 18 busy and happy years at the Mail but am now excited to be venturing forth – and particularly to be returning to The Times, having been its New York correspondent several moons ago.”

Times editor John Witherow said Letts was “one of Britain’s sharpest and funniest writers and will be a magnificent addition to our talented team, following in the fine tradition of political sketch writing at The Times”.

Letts’ departure from the Mail follows a sea change in its stance on Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, previously supporting a so-called “hard Brexit” but since softening to support Theresa May’s new deal with the EU.

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It follows Leave supporter Paul Dacre’s departure in September to be replaced by pro-Remain Mail On Sunday editor Geordie Greig.

A book by Letts published last year was titled: “Patronising Bastards: How the Elites Betrayed Britain”.

Appearing on Russia Today around the launch of his book Patronising Bastards: How the Elites Betrayed Britain last year, he told the Kremlin-backed broadcaster that “Brexit was a terrific inning”.

But, he added: “The British establishment and the European establishment have gone on a complete dirty protest and is trying to pretend this thing isn’t going to happen, or if it does happen they can somehow blunt it.

“It’s disgraceful behaviour, what we’re seeing.”

Letts worked freelance for the Mail, writing sketches and theatre reviews, and has written several articles for the Sunday Telegraph over the last couple of months.

He began his career covering a shift on the Daily Telegraph diary column in 1986 and became the paper’s City diarist two years later.

He told Press Gazette earlier today: “I have had 18 busy and exhilarating years with the Mail and can only thank the paper’s readers and editors, and Lord Rothermere, for their generosity.”

Letts’ last piece for the Daily Mail was a tribute to the late Conservative peer Jean Trumpington.

Press Gazette has contacted the Daily Mail for comment on his departure.

Picture: News UK

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