Now Reading
Richard Branson overturns Virgin Trains sales ban on Daily Mail

Richard Branson overturns Virgin Trains sales ban on Daily Mail

Virgin train Entrepreneur Richard Branson | Photo: Flickr / William Murphy

Virgin founder Richard Branson has overturned the controversial decision to ban the sale of a right-wing newspaper on its trains in the UK.

Last week Virgin Trains said they would no longer be selling the Daily Mail newspaper. The ban affected its West Coast mainline franchise.

Now, the Virgin boss Branson has stepped into the row ordering they overturn the ban.

Virgin Trains had said the newspaper was ‘not compatible’ with its brand or beliefs.

An internal memo shows employees raised concerns ‘about the Mail’s editorial positions. This includes on issues such as immigration, LGBT rights, and unemployment.

Writing on Virgin’s website Branson now says the decision does not live up to the ‘principles’ of the rail partnership. The partnership is run with business owner Brian Souter.

‘While Virgin Trains believes their passengers are free to read whatever newspaper they choose onboard West Coast trains, it is clear that on this occasion the decision to no longer sell The Mail has not been seen to live up to these principles,’ Branson writes.

‘Brian and I agree that we must not ever be seen to be censoring what our customers read and influencing their freedom of choice. Instead, we should stand up for the values we hold dear. And defend them publicly, as I have done with The Mail on many issues over the years.

‘So Brian and I have instructed our team at Virgin Trains to reconsider this decision and re-stock the Daily Mail while they undertake a full review of their sales policy, making clear that this policy should not single out individual media titles.’

Daily Mail claims train ban ‘is homophobic’

As the ban was announced, the paper hit back.

Last week, a spokesperson for the Daily Mail called Virgin’s decision ‘disgraceful.’

It also accused Virgin Trains of ‘censoring the choice of newspapers it offers to passengers.’

Not only that, but investigations reporter Paul Bentley has claimed his place of work is not opposed to LGBT rights.

‘At the Mail, gay journalists have senior positions across news, politics, features,’ Bentley said.

Moreover, he adds: ‘The Mail had the first gay sports editor. Banning the Mail – and content written by many proud gay people – is a political decision that has nothing to do with journalism.’

It’s a viewpoint that would be challenged by many in the LGBTI community.

The right-wing paper has repeatedly engaged in casual homophobia, written several transphobic headlines, and attacked trans charity Mermaids.

MailOnline, the Daily Mail, and the Mail on Sunday, in 2017 alone, wrote 37 opinion pieces attacking transgender people.

Read more from Gay Star News:

Why 2018 must be the year we protect trans kids from the hateful media