The Telegraph is up for sale for the first time in a generation. The new owner will become one of the most influential people on the right in Britain. Who will win the race?
Jane Martinson’s book, You May Never See Us Again, the definitive story of Telegraph owners David and Frederick Barclay, will be published on 19 October by Penguin. You can order a copy here.
Why this story?
The Telegraph newspapers and Spectator magazine are up for sale for the first time in a generation. Much has changed since the Barclay family bought them in 2004 – what hasn’t changed is how many rich men are vying for them, all hoping to control one of the most influential voices on the Right.
Among those interested in becoming Mr Right, is someone who has been in the news a lot lately. Sir Paul Marshall is a wealthy hedge fund owner and major investor in GB News, a television channel that in the two years it’s been running has shaken the world of broadcast news. Marshall’s own journey is an interesting reflection on modern Britain. From parliamentary candidate for the Liberal Democrats to Brexiteer and proponent of free speech, he now has ambitions to become a media mogul for a new era in UK politics.
But would would this new era look like? Ofcom is investigating a dozen potential breaches by GB News and its critics say the TV channel has a loose relationship with facts. If Paul Marshall does win control of the Telegraph, what would that mean for the Conservative Party? And could his combined control over a broadsheet and a broadcaster enflame the trend towards extreme views, rather than news?