Steerpike

Emily Sheffield out as Evening Standard editor

Emily Sheffield out as Evening Standard editor
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Oh dear. It was less than six months ago that Mr S was remarking on the number of onetime George Osborne acolytes now ensconced at the Evening Standard . But the winds of change now appear to be blowing through the corridors of Northcliffe House as owner Lord Lebedev has today unceremoniously axed the paper's editor Emily Sheffield after just 15 months in the role.

An email was sent out to Standard hacks this morning, informing them all that Sheffield was stepping down by 'mutual agreement' along with the obligatory platitudes for her 'role in turning the Evening Standard Digital First.' The former Vogue writer gets a column in the paper as a consolation prize, with publisher Charlotte Ross assuming the role of acting editor. Sheffield is quoted as thanking her bearded proprietor and staff, noting that her tenure coincided with an 'incredibly challenging period of history.'

Sheffield of course is the sister-in-law of David Cameron and was hand-picked by George Osborne as his successor when he relinquished the Standard's editorship. Arriving in the middle of a national lockdown, she was forced to copy Osborne's swingeing cuts as an austerity chancellor, axing 40 per cent of her editorial staff as advertising and circulation rates plunged. A much-vaunted redesign flopped with sections such as 'The Insider' and 'Weekend' promising 'style, sass and daily smarts' and 'culture, beats, hot shows and big shows'.

Perhaps Mr S and the rest of Fleet Street should have seen it coming — emails to her account for the last few weeks have received the automatic reply that she is 'out of the office dealing with personal matters'.

Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to steerpike@spectator.co.uk or message @MrSteerpike

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