A senior editor at the Daily Mail has accused broadsheet rival the Guardian of having a “psychotic hatred of popular newspapers”.
Alex Bannister, managing editor of the Mail, wrote a letter to the Guardian after it ran an editorial condemning tabloid coverage of Prince Harry’s girlfriend, Meghan Markle, and suggested press regulator Ipso should intervene.
As well as condemning the Guardian’s stance on press regulation – it currently regulates itself – Bannister also used the letter to poke fun at the newspaper’s loss-making nature.
He said the Guardian’s editorial had used a statement published by Prince Harry attacking coverage of Markle as a “vehicle to attack tabloids, including the Mail”.
“This was disingenuous to say the least: the statement was clearly addressed to the media in general, and in particular social media. No section of the British press was singled out for criticism,” Bannister said.
“Indeed, as far as the Daily Mail is concerned, we have received no complaints from the palace and were not responsible for any of the alleged wrongdoings listed in your editorial.”
Bannister added: “You appear dismayed that the tabloid press, which is allegedly already in severe decline, was not finished off by Leveson.
“Psychotic hatred of popular newspapers aside, what right does a newspaper that lost more than £60m last year have to lecture those that are commercially viable and succeed by having their fingers on the pulse of public opinion?
“May I humbly suggest that if the Guardian spent as much time examining its own deficiencies as it does obsessing about the Mail, it would be a much more readable paper. Why, it might even make a profit.”