Alastair Campbell returns to newspapers

Alastair Campbell Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The appointment of Alastair Campbell seems to point towards a growing pro-Remain confidence

Alastair Campbell is returning to British newspapers as editor-at-large of The New European.

Almost a quarter of a century after he left the Daily Mirror to work for Tony Blair, Campbell will write regular columns and, like all editors-at-large, become an ambassador for the product, I have learned.

He will also commission pieces.

It was Campbell who persuaded Blair to write a high-profile front-page story for the paper.

Campbell already has a regular slot, whether a column or interview, in GQ magazine and also the International Business Times.

Image copyright Archant
Image caption Last circulation figures for the weekly The New European suggest it sells more than 20,000 copies

The most interesting thing about this story isn't what it says about Campbell, who chose the paper to serialise his recent memoirs, but about the growing confidence, impact and viability of the so-called pop-up paper for the 48% of Britons who voted Remain.

The paper's editor, Matt Kelly, is winning plaudits all over the place for turning a frankly quirky experiment after last year's referendum into a print product whose subscriber base is growing as it approaches its first birthday.

Kelly won special recognition at last week's Press Awards (full disclosure: I was one of the many judges involved in the awards).

Kelly, who looks like Al Capone after a stint with Slimming World, and talks in a thick Scouse accent (he grew up in Formby) that doesn't smack of metropolitan elite, is also chief content officer of Archant, the family-owned publisher founded in 1845.

Latest circulation figures for The New European suggest it sells more than 20,000 copies. Its 48 pages are put together by a staff of about five in Norwich.

I suspect Campbell's 370,000 followers on Twitter will be hearing plenty more about The New European.

He and Kelly both know that if even one in 100 of them took out a subscription, that would be transformative for this brave little title.

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