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Times Newspapers

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:18 pm on 27th January 1981.

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Photo of Mr George Gardiner Mr George Gardiner , Reigate and Banstead 5:18 pm, 27th January 1981

I believe that The Times could be a much better newspaper than it is now. It needs an injection of publishing flair. It was once the paper of record. I do not believe that many hon. Members would argue that it is now. Its foreign news coverage was once ahead of all others in Fleet Street. We could not say that now. It has never entered the race in investigative journalism, which is undertaken far better by other newspapers, including The Guardian. Its financial coverage often leaves something to be desired compared with the Financial Times.

It is a red herring to suggest, as many have, that this change of ownership will result in The Times being pulled downmarket. Why should the owner of the most successful popular paper in Fleet Street want to pull The Times in the same direction? It is far more likely that success for The Times, and commercial success for its owner, will be brought about by improving its quality and providing more space for news coverage.