Private Eye has backtracked on its report that Daily Mail deputy editor Jon Steafel received a £2m payoff.
It reported in its issue of 30 September that Steafel, who is being replaced by Mail on Sunday deputy editor Gerard Greaves, had started legal action for constructive dismissal. It also said that the first Steafel knew of his replacement was when a notice appeared on the office wall and that proprietor Lord Rothermere was furious about the way his departure was handled.
And it said that Steafel was on a “£500,000-plus” salary.
The latest edition of Private Eye contains a detailed correction headed: Paul Dacre and Jon Steafel.
It states: “Contrary to what we stated, Mr Steafel did not first learn of his new role at the Daily Mail, and his replacement as deputy by Gerard Greaves, by an announcement in the newsroom; the figures we quoted for Mr Steafel’s salary, notice period and severance package were significantly inaccurate; Mr Steafel’s lawyers did not make a claim for constructive dismissal and the manner in which Mr Steafel was treated by Mr Dacre did not incur Lord Rothermere’s disapproval; nor did Lord Rothermere intervene to resolve the amount of Mr Steafel’s compensation at £2m. Mr Dacre did not seek to block the appointment of [Daily Mail assistant editor] Tobyn Andreae to Mr Greaves’s previous role, nor did Lord Rothermere overrule him. We are happy to make all this clear.”
Private Eye has been chronicling apparent tensions between Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre and Mail on Sunday editor Geordie Greig for some months.
Although Dacre is editor-in-chief of the Sunday title, it backed remaining in the EU while the Daily Mail has been a forthright anti-EU campaigner.
Whereas the Mail on Sunday serialised the memoirs of former Number 10 spokesman Sir Craig Oliver, the Daily Mail attacked him in a leader comment saying: “Sir Craig is the epitome of the arrogant political class. An obscure, middle-ranking BBC executive before being propelled into Number 10, he has no track record in public service and has never been elected to any office.”