View all newsletters
Sign up for our free email newsletters

Fighting for quality news media in the digital age.

  1. Publishers
  2. National Newspapers
January 9, 2018updated 10 Jan 2018 9:23am

Virgin Trains stops selling on-board copies of Daily Mail after staff complaints on paper’s immigration stance

By James Walker

Virgin Trains has stopped stocking copies of the Daily Mail in its on-board shops after staff complained about the paper’s stance on immigration, gay rights and unemployment.

Richard Branson’s company also said the newspaper was “not compatible” with the company’s brand and beliefs. Branson has previously been critical of the vote to leave the EU and Donald Trump’s “Muslim” migration ban.

A Virgin Trains spokesperson told Press Gazette: “We regularly review the products we have on sale for customers in the shop on-board our west coast trains and after listening to feedback from our people, we decided in November 2017 that we would no longer stock copies of the Daily Mail.

“When we stocked the Daily Mail on-board, we sold one copy for every four trains.”

In an internal memo, seen by PR Week, Virgin Trains staff were told: “Thousands of people choose to read the Daily Mail every day. But they will no longer be reading it courtesy of VT [Virgin Trains].

“There’s been considerable concern raised by colleagues about the Mail’s editorial position on issues such as immigration, LGBT rights, and unemployment.

“We’ve decided that this paper is not compatible with the VT brand and our beliefs. We won’t be stocking the Daily Mail for sale or as a giveaway.”

Content from our partners
Cannes Lions: The world's best creativity all in one place
L'Equipe signs content syndication deal with The Content Exchange
Journalism can be relentless: But overworking could be fatal

The Daily Mail and other right-wing newspapers are the target of a campaign by Stop Funding Hate to persuade companies not to advertise or run promotions with them.

Stationery company Paperchase was criticised after it apologised for advertising in the Daily Mail last November. Lego and The Body Shop have also announced that they will no longer run promotions in the paper.

A Daily Mail spokesperson said: “It is disgraceful that, at a time of massive customer dissatisfaction over ever-increasing rail fares, and after the taxpayer was forced to bail out Virgin’s East Coast mainline franchise – a decision strongly criticised by the Mail –  that Virgin Trains should now announce that for political reasons it is censoring the choice of newspapers it offers to passengers.

“It is equally rich that Virgin chose to launch this attack on free speech in the ASLEF trade union journal.

“For the record Virgin used to sell only 70 Daily Mails a day. They informed us last November that to save space, they were restricting sales to just three newspapers: the Mirror, FT and Times.

“They gave no other reason, but it may be no coincidence that all those titles, like Virgin owner Sir Richard Branson, are pro-Remain.”

Picture: Reuters/Neil Hall

Topics in this article : , ,

Email pged@pressgazette.co.uk to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

Websites in our network