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by Freddie Sayers
Monday, 4
November 2019
Off grid

The Express has swung behind Boris — and that matters

The newspaper that Westminster likes to laugh at is a powerful signal of where Brexit Party voters are headed
by Freddie Sayers

Westminster types like laughing at the Daily Express. It used to be obsessed with Princess Diana, the weather and Maddie McCann; in recent years it has shifted its attentions mainly to immigration and Brexit (along with Statins, of course).

But now more than ever it’s worth keeping an eye on it — if there’s a media outlet that speaks for those all-important Brexit Party voters, it is this. The Express is typically ahead of all the other papers with the latest Nigel Farage manoeuvres (he understands how important it is to his base) and Ann Widdecombe even has a weekly column.

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So it matters that they now seem to have swung fully behind Boris. It’s editorial last Saturday formally said it was the ‘end of the road‘ for Mr Farage. Today’s front page is the stuff of Conservative Party dreams, and it’s followed up with a double-page spread entitled ‘Tax cut to win over working-class voters’, replete with a lovely picture of Carrie Symonds (‘Carrie’s into the fray for her man’). On the next page is a commentary from Jacob Rees Mogg under the banner, ‘Allies warn Nigel he may foil exit from EU.’

Over the weekend, Farage had to resort to paying for a two-page advert in the Express to argue against Boris’s Brexit deal.

It’s early days in the campaign, but if even the Express won’t give his anti-deal arguments coverage, Farage has got a problem.

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