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Branson criticised over decision

Virgin Trains bans Daily Mail on Scots route

Virgin Trains has banned the Daily Mail on its West Coast trains because of the newspaper’s editorial policies.

The company said the decision followed “feedback from our people”, while a  Daily Mail spokesman called the decision “disgraceful”.

Drew McMillan, head of colleague communication and engagement at Virgin, told the monthly magazine published by train drivers’ union Aslef that customers they will no longer be reading the Daily Mail “courtesy of VT”.

He said: “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.”

The Virgin spokesperson added that when it stocked the paper, it only sold one copy for every four trains.

Copies of the Daily Mail will no longer be available to travellers between Glasgow and London. It has paper never been stocked on its East Coast trains under the management of Virgin/Stagecoach.

The Daily Mail spokesman said it was “disgraceful” that Virgin was announcing that “for political reasons it is censoring the choice of newspapers it offers to passengers.

“They informed us last November that to save space, they were restricting sales to just three newspapers: the Mirror, FT and Times.”

He added that the decision seemed to coincide with Virgin’s and Sir Richard Branson’s views on Brexit.

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

Lego and The Body Shop announced some time ago that they will no longer run promotions in the paper.

 

However, Virgin was accused of attacking free speech. Among those critical of its decision was the former newspaper editor and current broadcaster Piers Morgan who tweeted: “Oh, for goodness sake. Come off it @richardbranson – censorship isn’t your thing, surely?”

Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage called the decision “worrying”.

 

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