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New Today editor’s great Brexit adventure

Although Nick Robinson claims the BBC no longer has a duty to ‘broadly balance’ the views of Remain and Leave in its Brexit reports, this hasn’t stopped the Today programme facing flak for its seemingly gloomy broadcasts. A recent News Watch study found that — in the six month period after the referendum vote — of the 366 guest speakers who appeared in the Business News segment, only 60 (16.3pc) expressed opinions which were pro-Brexit or saw the post-referendum economic outlook as positive.

But can we expect a more sunny outlook in the coming months? Mr S only asks after reading Sarah Sands — the incoming Today editor — in the Evening Standard. Sands will take over from Jamie Angus — a former Lib Dem press officer — as the editor of the Radio 4’s flagship current affairs programme in May. A Remain voter, Sands has written of her attempts to look on the bright-side over the UK’s decision to leave the EU:

‘I have tried various ways of getting along with Brexit, as a Remain voter. The first is that this was a democratic vote and we’d better make the best of it. Slightly pursed tone, no? Next, that the metropolitan elite was heading for a pasting so this is a period of re-balancing. A bit mean-spirited.

My latest mood is one of Elizabethan adventure. I have no idea where Brexit will take us but it will be interesting to see how historians classify the age that we are in.

This sentiment is best expressed as: sod it.’

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

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