Paul Dacre will step down from his role as editor of the Daily Mail, the paper's parent company confirmed this evening.
After 28 years spearheading the often controversial tabloid, Dacre will take up the position of chairman and editor-in-chief of associated newspapers from 1 October, before stepping back from editorial duties in November.
Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) said the announcement had been made to allow Dacre to facilitate the handover to the new editor - who will be named in due course. Dacre's resignation will coincide with his 70th birthday, on 14 November.
Lord Rothermere, chairman of DMGT said:
I would like to put on record my and DMGT's gratitude to Paul Dacre for his brilliant stewardship of the Mail and other titles within the group over three decades.
Paul is, quite simply, the greatest Fleet Street editor of his generation not only for his huge circulation successes on both the Mail and Standard but also for the sheer power of his many campaigns, investigations and crusades that have held power to account, given a voice to the voiceless and often set the political agenda through six prime ministerships. He has done this while working tirelessly to defend press freedom to the benefit of our whole industry.
I am absolutely delighted that Paul has agreed to continue to stay on after his 70th birthday as chairman and editor-in-chief of associated newspapers in addition to advising me and taking on other broader responsibilities in the company at a time of profound upheaval in the media landscape.
Under Dacre's leadership, the Daily Mail has established itself as one of the best-read and most divisive papers in the UK. The latest ABC national newspaper print circulation figures for April 2018 found the Mail had the third highest print circulation in the UK, at 1,253,305.
He has spearheaded the paper's right-wing political stance, and has been instrumental in shaping the paper's often controversial front pages.
The Daily Mail has been a staunch supporter of Brexit. In 2016 it splashed on its front page that judges who ruled in favour of the government being given a vote on the eventual outcome of Brexit were "enemies of the people". The press regulator received 1,000 complaints about the story, after a huge public backlash.
In 1997, the Daily Mail famously splashed on the killing of Stephen Lawrence, as it boldly accused the five suspects of being "murderers" saying: "The Mail accuses these men of killing. If we are wrong, let them sue us."