It’s being reported that Theresa May has distanced herself from today’s divisive Daily Mail front page, which screams that the general election is a chance to “crush the saboteurs”.
Asked whether she regarded her political opponents as “saboteurs” in an interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, she said:
“Absolutely not. Politics and democracy are about people having different opinions, different views.”
She was careful not to associate herself with the headline, but it’s hardly the condemnation that such a front page deserves.
— Neil Henderson (@hendopolis) April 18, 2017
Perhaps that’s because May has sought a special relationship with the Daily Mail since becoming Prime Minister.
Transparency documents published by the Government last month revealed that May treated the right-wing newspaper’s notorious editor, Paul Dacre, to dinner at Number 10 on October 24, 2016.
May held meetings with other media outlets between October and December 2016 – but Dacre was the only person to be offered hospitality at Downing Street during those months.
Even the Archbishop of Canterbury and former Prime Minister Tony Blair, who she also met over that period, didn’t receive the same red carpet treatment.
A month before her soiree with Dacre at Number 10, May had dined with Daily Mail owner Viscount Rothermere and Mail on Sunday editor Geordie Greig. And May has hired former Daily Mail political editor James Slack as her official spokesman.
That’s how much distance there is between May and the Mail…