Virgin Trains has announced that it will no longer stock the Daily Mail newspaper on its trains after feedback from staff and customers.
Virgin Trains informed the Daily Mail of their decision in November, and explained that due to low sales they will now only stock the Financial Times, The Times, and the Mirror. Previously, Virgin Trains only sold around one copy of the tabloid for very four trains, or about 70 copies per day.
Drew McMillan, head of colleague communication and engagement at Virgin, told the Aslef union’s monthly Journal magazine: “Different viewpoints are often valuable, and it’s certainly true that we choose to take our news from different sources depending on our view of the world.
“Thousands of people choose to read the Daily Mail every day. But they will no longer be reading it courtesy of Virgin Trains. There’s been considerable concern raised by colleagues about the Mail’s editorial position on issues such as immigration, LGBT rights, and unemployment.
“We’ve decided that this paper is not compatible with the Virgin Trains brand and our beliefs. We won’t be stocking the Daily Mail for sale or as a giveaway.”
Upon hearing the reasons for Virgin Trains’ decision, the Daily Mail hit back and argued that the operator was “censoring the choice of newspapers it offers to passengers” for “political reasons” rather than declining sales.
The Daily Mail has come under increased criticism in recent years for its regular attacks on immigrants, the LGBT community, those with disabilities, and other minority groups. Last year saw a European Commission report on the rise of racist violence in the UK accuse the Mail of fuelling prejudice, Wikipedia ban the use of the Mail as a source because of its ‘reputation for poor fact checking and sensationalism’, and stationary company Paperchase apologise for running a promotion in the Mail after complaints from customers and the Stop Funding Hate campaign.