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Editor who left daily amid cuts takes on challenging new PR role

Ian McNealAn editor who left a regional daily amid cuts by its publisher has taken a new role with a local authority which is currently facing widespread press scrutiny.

Ian McNeal, who edited the Teesside Gazette and its Teesside Live sister website until last month, has joined Tees Valley Combined Authority as a communications manager.

Ian, pictured, was among a raft of editors to announce their departure from Gazette publisher Reach plc after the company announced widespread cuts early this year that put 426 journalism roles at risk of redundancy.

His move to Tees Valley comes amid widespread press scrutiny of the authority over the Teesside Freeport development, with Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove ordering an independent review into allegations of “corruption, wrongdoing and illegality” surrounding the development.

Last month, Yorkshire Post editor James Mitchinson hired investigative journalist Leigh Jones with a brief to examine environmental and political issues relating to the Freeport and surrounding areas, including North Yorkshire and its coastline.

The Post subsequently publicly criticised TVCA for turning down an FoI by Leigh after he asked for details about business interests in the Teesside Freeport.

TVCA rejected the request for information on how many firms had signed tenancy agreements with the site on the grounds that it would “likely cause harm” to developer Teesworks Limited’s commercial interests.

Ian declined to comment on his new role when approached by HTFP.