A former Tory candidate turned radio broadcaster has been sacked as a columnist on a regional daily after seven years.
Iain Dale, who stood for the Tories in North Norfolk in 2005 before becoming a leading blogger and radio broadcaster on LBC, has written a column for the Eastern Daily Press since 2006.
Now the newspaper has told him the column has “run its course” and informed him that last week’s piece will be his last.
In a blog post, Iain said it has been a privilege to be part of the EDP’s coverage for so long and thanked the three EDP editors he has worked under.
Wrote Iain: “Any freelance columnist knows that at some point all good things come to an end, and for me that point was reached today. This morning I got a call from the EDP to relieve me of the column. OK, then, they sacked me!
“I can’t pretend I am not sad about it, because I am, especially now that I am living in Norfolk (albeit part-time) again. However, there aren’t many columnists who last seven years on any newspaper, even when they come as cheaply as I do!
“The EDP is a great newspaper and is the biggest regional paper in the country. It’s been a privilege to be part of its coverage for so long, firstly when I was a candidate in Norfolk and latterly as a columnist,
“Whenever this sort of thing happens you always look for a reason. I was told that “it was time to move on” and “it has run its course” and maybe they are right. Newspapers always need to refresh themselves and the EDP is no different.
“Anyway, thank you to the three editors, Peter Franzen, Pete Waters and Nigel Pickover who I have worked with. Peter Franzen gave me the column initially, Pete Waters was an inspirational editor and was a sad loss to the EDP when he left, and to Nigel Pickover who I fully expected to sack me when he took over 18 months or so ago, but he didn’t!
“He’s a human dynamo of energy and has given the newspaper a new vitality.”
Said Nigel: “Iain is a great journalist and accomplished radio presenter and loves his adopted county of Norfolk. We review our columns on a regular basis and change them from time to time, as do all newspapers.
“I wish Ian well and I am sure he will write pieces for us in the future.”
Iain presents Drive on LBC 97.3, 4-8pm weekdays, and is also managing director of political book publisher Biteback.