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‘Dinosaur’ journalist sorry for attack on bosses which sparked departure

A self-confessed “dinosaur” journalist who quit a regional daily after an online attack on his bosses has apologised for his comments.

Robert Sutcliffe has said sorry for personal remarks he made about Huddersfield Daily Examiner editor Wayne Ankers and head of news Faye Preston after a dispute over a legal issue about an inquest story he had written.

The incident led to Robert’s suspension by Examiner publisher Reach plc and he subsequently resigned.

He has now left journalism to become general manager at a bar in Huddersfield called Showtime.

Robert Sutcliffe

The dispute between Robert, pictured, and Reach started when he reported on an inquest into the death of 23-year-old Jake Rainton, which was opened and adjourned to allow criminal proceedings to take their course.

The story was subsequently published after a short delay following legal checks after he refused a request following the hearing to check with the coroner whether any reporting restrictions were in place.

He then claimed on X, then Twitter, that Reach had “tried to stop” the story’s publication due to “bogus legal issues” and made comments about both Faye and Wayne.

Robert said he had since been in touch with Wayne privately to apologise to them both and had received a complimentary message in response about his service to the Examiner.

Speaking to HTFP, Robert said: “I must stress I’ve always had an excellent working relationship with [Faye] and a very enjoyable friendship with no trouble, and Wayne ditto.

“I had an excellent relationship with Wayne and I’ve since tipped him off about stories.”

“I’m sorry for my intemperate remarks to her after but I stuck to my story. It’s one of those silly things.

“I came up from that era where I never complained about anything and everything was sorted out over a pint. I’ve been a dinosaur for a long time and something daft like this was bound to happen at some point.”

In a message to Wayne, which he shared with HTFP, he wrote: “I’m very sorry to have let things get personal – that was unfair on you and Faye – and unworthy of me. I have always been extremely fond of both of you and have huge respect for the two of you.

“All the very best for the future – we’ve had some great times together – and I will always be rooting for the good ship Examiner, and all who are privileged to sail for her.”

Robert, who joined the Examiner in 2012, began his career editing a weekly newspaper in Doncaster in 1989 before moving to work at the Barnsley Chronicle, the Bradford Telegraph & Argus and then serving as the Calderdale reporter for the Yorkshire Post for 11 years.

He has won a number of awards over the years including being shortlisted as Yorkshire Reporter of the Year.

Asked whether he may return to journalism, he said: “I may have taken my pint glass but I haven’t hung up my pen just yet.”

Reach declined to comment when approached by HTFP.