Telegraph bid could undermine newspaper’s pro-Israel coverage, ministers hear

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Telegraph bid could undermine newspaper’s pro-Israel coverage, ministers hear

Peer says a Gulf-state backed takeover could be intended to undermine the paper's pro-Israel stance

'Surgeons operate only once every fortnight' Daily Telegraph newspaper headline front page and Prince Charles Prince of Wales 1967 portrait London UK
'Surgeons operate only once every fortnight' Daily Telegraph newspaper headline front page and Prince Charles Prince of Wales 1967 portrait London UK

As the government set out its plans to ban foreign state ownership of newspapers and news magazines, it also faced warnings that Vladimir Putin’s Russia could be among the hostile states aiming to acquire British media organisations if changes were not enacted.

Peers raised concern about the proposed takeover of The Daily Telegraph and The Spectator by Redbird IMI, an investment fund majority-owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, vice president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and owner of Manchester City Football Club.

Conservative peer Baroness Fleet, a former editor of the London Evening Standard, who also worked in senior roles at the Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail, urged ministers to ensure the bid did not go ahead.

“I know that anyone who buys a newspaper wants to influence society, politicians and Government. All proprietors interfere,” said the Tory peer, who was the London Evening Standard’s editor for seven years.

She added: “Importantly, every week the Telegraph has criticised the pro-Palestinian parades through London for their antisemitism.

“The idea that an Arab owner, any Arab owner of the Telegraph or any other newspaper, would allow its editor to support Israel and criticise pro-Palestinian antisemites is an absurd notion.

“I go even further and say that one of the reasons perhaps why a foreign government would want to buy an important newspaper such as the Telegraph would be to promote an anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian point of view.”

The Tory peer later claimed that Rupert Murdoch’s News UK group, the owner of the Sun and the Times newspapers, could also be eyed up by foreign state buyers in future if the law were not changed.

She told peers: “If we do not pass this amendment we will send out a signal that, if after Murdoch’s death perhaps, News International is put up for sale, any foreign government is welcome then to buy another chunk of our newspapers.

“Perhaps Qatar or even Russia. We must protect our newspapers from that threat.”

Media minister Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay told peers the Government is committed to “bringing forward an amendment to this Bill at third reading which prevents foreign state ownership” of the British press.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: