Mail attacks Virgin Trains for 'political censorship' after operator drops paper

The Daily Mail has said that Virgin Trains' decision to stop stocking its newspaper is "disgraceful" and motivated by political factors.

PRWeek revealed this morning that the train company had stopped stocking the paper. Virgin Trains said this was on the back of "considerable concern raised by colleagues", which led to the decision the the Mail was "not compatible" with its brand or beliefs.

The Mail has now responded. A spokesman for the paper said: "It is disgraceful that, at a time of massive customer dissatisfaction over ever-increasing rail fares, and after the taxpayer was forced to bail out Virgin’s East Coast mainline franchise – a decision strongly criticised by the Mail - that Virgin Trains should now announce that for political reasons it is censoring the choice of newspapers it offers to passengers."

This is a reference to a piece by the paper's writer Alex Brummer last week, entitled 'The final insult after soaring rail fares? Now you'll pick up the bill for bailing out Richard Branson!'.

"It is equally rich that Virgin chose to launch this attack on free speech in the ASLEF trade union journal," the Mail said, a reference to the news having initially been mentioned in the union's magazine, which was then highlighted to PRWeek by a third-party source.

The Mail spokesman continued: "For the record Virgin used to sell only 70 Daily Mails a day. They informed us last November that to save space, they were restricting sales to just three newspapers: the Mirror, FT and Times. They gave no other reason, but it may be no coincidence that all those titles, like Virgin owner Sir Richard Branson, are pro-'Remain'."

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