Controversial former Donald Trump strategist Steve Bannon is organising a bid for The Telegraph to turn it into a vehicle for his brand of economic nationalism.
It was reported last week that the title’s owners – tycoon twins Sir David Barclay and Sir Frederick Barclay – were looking to sell the national newspaper.
The sale has now attracted interest from Bannon who believes the Telegraph can be an international voice for Trump-style populism.
Bannon, who co-founded the populist right-wing news website Breitbart, is trying to organise a consortium to buy The Telegraph.
“It’s one of the great untapped properties,” he told The Sunday Times.
The 65-year-old was credited with masterminding Trump’s 2016 election victory by emphasising a populist economic nationalist agenda.
He acted as chief White House strategist for Trump’s first eight months in office, before leaving due to an alleged power struggle between himself and Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner.
Bannon claims that The Telegraph lurched further to the right over recent years out of fear of competition from Breitbart, which had more than 17 million unique users a month at its peak in 2017.
He told The Sunday Times that the traditional British right-wing has been too reluctant to embrace Trumpian populism because of historical class divides.
“It’s all that Oxford-Cambridge stuff,” he said.
The Barclay brothers are reportedly looking for at least £100m for The Telegraph, which the pair bought for £665m in 2004.
It comes shortly after The Telegraph revealed its pre-tax profit plummeted 94 per cent last year to just £900,000.
The Barclay family is reportedly preparing to break-up the empire created by the twin brothers as they also look to sell the Ritz Hotel and other assets.
Other rumoured suitors for The Telegraph include Daily Mail owner DMGT and the world’s richest man Jeff Bezos.
Bannon said he was not even sure if the a sale would take place.
“Not sure they really want to sell, so may be [a] total waste of time,” he said.