In his first public comments on the event his tabloids had a role in bringing about, American citizen Rupert Murdoch said the Brexit vote was “wonderful”, a “momentous decision” on “who we are”.

The widely-reported comments were made at an invitation-only business in London hosted by The Times (which backed Remain) yesterday. “[Brexit was] a bit like a prison break,” the media mogul said. “We’re out!”

Murdoch has long been seen as a sceptic on the European Union. Veteran Fleet Street journalist Anthony Hilton wrote in the Evening Standard (published by rival Trinity Mirror) last Friday he “once asked Rupert Murdoch why he was so opposed to the European Union. ‘That’s easy,’ he replied. ‘When I go into Downing Street they do what I say; when I go to Brussels they take no notice.'”

Most British papers supported the Brexit side of the argument. Yesterday, British media analyst Ian Whittaker said in a report that the British press would be boosted by the result.

“In the short term, it should help boost circulation revenues given the coverage given to the Brexit vote and its consequences; and in the medium to long-term, the Brexit vote — where most newspapers supported a ‘leave’ vote — will be taken as a demonstration of how much influence newspapers still have, which is a persuasive argument to use with advertiser.”

 

Peter Fray

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