Veteran journalist and political commentator Polly Toynbee spoke of the shattering effect of Brexit on Britain at the first of a new annual series of lectures at the University of Huddersfield.
Her talk, which inaugurated the series, was entitled Brexitland: Press and Politics Today. And in it the writer for the left-leaning Guardian newspaper lambasted the UK’s right-wing press for playing a key role in swinging the referendum vote towards leaving the European Union.
“Eighty-five per cent of newspapers sold are not just mildly Tory, but extreme,” she said. “And Europe in recent years has been their battle flag.”
The centrepiece of Polly Toynbee’s lecture was a denunciation of the Daily Mail, its editorial policies and its political influences which, she alleged, had played a part in “neutering” the BBC during the Brexit campaign.
She concluded this section of her talk by displaying copies of Daily Mail headlines, culminating in a triumphalist front page on the day of the referendum result.
Her talk last week drew a large audience.
Ms Toynbee was introduced by University of Huddersfield senior lecturer Dr Stephen Dorril, an author and journalist himself, who paid tribute to her social conscience and “forensic research skills.”