Telegraph Media Group announces the appointment of Benedict Brogan as Assistant Editor and Chief Political Commentator for The Daily Telegraph. Benedict will be writing a weekly column as well as blogging on the workings of Westminster. Benedict joins from the Daily Mail where he has been Political Editor since May 2005. Prior to this he worked at The Daily Telegraph from 2000 – 2004. William Lewis, Editor, The Daily Telegraph, said: “I am delighted Benedict is joining the Telegraph. I am a big fan of his blog, which is a must read.”
Benedict Brogan, said: "It has been a privilege to work for Paul Dacre and his remarkable team at the Daily Mail. I am grateful to William Lewis for this exciting new challenge and look forward enormously to returning to The Daily Telegraph as a columnist."
Wow. Well, that will certainly put the cat among the proverbials. This is a real coup for the Telegraph and a big blow to the Mail. Brogan has proved himself to be one of the best political reporters in the business but in the last year or two he has also developed into a fine commentator. I'd say his blog played a big part in him getting this gig and it's a sign that the Telegraph wants to up its game in the blogosphere. Brogan is by no means a cheerleader for Cameron but he will certainly balance up the Telegraph's commentary team, which is dominated by Cameron-sceptics - especially since my column ended (!).
Brogan's departure leaves a big hole in the Mail's political team. James Chapman may well step up to be political editor, but Dacre may well feel he needs to appoint a journalist from a rival paper to the role. Off the top of my head, I'd say that Jonathan Oliver, Sam Coates and Francis Elliott would be three of the main runners and riders. In addition, Dacre is known to rate the Mail's Home Affairs editor, James Slack,
One other name who might be worth an outside bet is that of the Standard's Paul Waugh. he's a consistent story getter and writes an excellent blog. If the Mail want to continue their political web presence, someone like Waugh would certainly achieve that. His Tory contacts are legendary, too.
UPDATE: Further consultations suggest that James Chapman and Joe Murphy are the two favourites among lobby journalists.
UPDATE: I feel like I am now tipping the whole lobby, but two other possibilities are Jane Merrick, who was at the Mail for some time before she left for the calmer waters of the Indy on Sunday as Pol Ed. Also, I should not have forgotten Tim Shipman, who was also at the Mail before he became the Sunday Telegraph's Washington Correspondent. Now that the Presidential election is over, he may fancy a return to Blighty. He was very well thought of by Paul Dacre, and the thought of getting one over on the Telegraph might be too much for Dacre to resist.