The inevitable departure from The Express of crusading editor Rosie Boycott was announced yesterday, amid guarded language from both sides. Her deputy Chris Blackhurst also quit – both after two years in their respective posts.

A joint statement from the duo and the paper’s new owner Northern & Shell said only that the pair had left their posts by “mutual arrangement” and with “immediate effect”. Added N&S editorial director Paul Ashford: “Rosie and Chris both leave their considerable mark on the Daily Express and we wish them well for the future."

Also radiating sweetness and light, Battling Boycott’s valedictory statement contrasted starkly with the bitter acrimony that erupted between her and new proprietor Richard Desmond [WAMN: 11&19-Dec-00].

Her words were a testament to the emollient powers of a cash settlement trailing numerous zeros: "I would like to wish the newspaper, its staff and the new proprietor well in their endeavours to build on the great name and tradition of the Daily Express."

Desmond’s equally conciliatory stance is believed to be not unconnected with the adverse effect a long-running dispute with two senior executives would have on his plans for a flotation of Express Newspapers.

News Source: CampaignLive (UK)