The Mail on Sunday

The Mail on Sunday is a British conservative newspaper, published in a tabloid format. It was launched in 1982 by Lord Rothermere. Its sister paper, the Daily Mail, was first published in 1896.

The Mail on Sunday
TypeWeekly newspaper
Owner(s)Daily Mail and General Trust
PublisherDMG Media
EditorTed Verity
Founded2 May 1982 (1982-05-02)
Political alignmentConservative
HeadquartersNorthcliffe House, 2 Derry Street, Kensington, London, U.K.
Circulation969,894 (as of September 2019)[1]

In July 2011, after the closure of the News of the World, The Mail on Sunday sold some 2.5 million copies a week—making it Britain's biggest-selling Sunday newspaper—but by September that had fallen back to just under 2 million.[2] Like the Daily Mail it is owned by the Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT), but the editorial staffs of the two papers are entirely separate. It had an average weekly circulation of 1,284,121 in December 2016; this had fallen to under a million by September 2019.[3][1]


The Mail on Sunday was launched on 2 May 1982, to complement the Daily Mail, the first time Associated Newspapers had published a national Sunday title since it closed the once hugely successful Sunday Dispatch in 1961. The first story on the front page was the Royal Air Force's bombing of Stanley airport in the Falkland Islands. The newspaper's owner, the Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT), initially wanted a circulation of 1.25 million; however, by that measure the launch of The Mail on Sunday was not a success, for by the sixth week sales were peaking at just 700,000. Its sports coverage was seen to be among its weaknesses at the time of its launch. The Mail on Sunday's first back-page splash was a report from the Netherlands on the rollerskating world championships, which led to the paper being ridiculed in the industry.

Lord Rothermere, then the proprietor, brought in the Daily Mail's editor David English (later Sir David) who, with a task force of new journalists, redesigned and re-launched The Mail on Sunday. Over a period of three-and-a-half months English managed to halt the paper's decline, and its circulation increased to 840,000. Three new sections were introduced: firstly a sponsored partwork, the initial one forming a cookery book; then a colour comic supplement (an innovation in the British Sunday newspaper market); and lastly, a magazine—You magazine.

The newspaper's reputation was built on the work of its next editor, Stewart Steven. The newspaper's circulation grew from around one million to just under two million during his time in charge. Although its sister paper the Daily Mail has invariably supported the Conservative Party, Steven backed the SDP / Liberal Alliance in the 1983 General Election.[4] The subsequent editors were Jonathan Holborow, Peter Wright and Geordie Greig, who became editor of the Daily Mail in September 2018 and was replaced at the Sunday title by Ted Verity.

At the 2015 general election The Mail on Sunday urged its readers to vote Conservative to prevent the country "veering left" under a Labour-SNP pact. It urged UKIP voters to "please come home to the Conservatives" as their "protest has been registered".[5]

2016 EU Referendum

In the EU membership referendum, the paper — unlike its daily counterpart — came out unequivocally in favour of the Remain campaign, arguing that it would provide a safer, freer and more prosperous UK.[6][7]

The Mail on Sunday has, following the change of editor from Geordie Greig to Ted Verity, shifted to a more Eurosceptic stance.

Phone hacking

Under Peter Wright's editorship of the Mail on Sunday and his membership of the Press Complaints Commission (PCC), the Mail newspaper organisation withheld important evidence about phone hacking from the PCC when the latter held its inquiry into the News of the World's interception of voicemail messages. Specifically, the PCC was not informed that four Mail on Sunday journalists—investigations editor Dennis Rice, news editor Sebastian Hamilton, deputy news editor David Dillon and feature writer Laura Collins—had been told by the Metropolitan police in 2006 that their mobile phones had been hacked even though Wright, who was editor of the Mail on Sunday, had been made aware of the hacking. The facts did not emerge until several years later, when they were revealed in evidence at the News of the World phone hacking trial.[8]

Wright became a member of the PCC from May 2008.[9] He took over the place previously held by the Daily Mail's editor-in-chief Paul Dacre, who had served on the body from 1999 to April 2008. The PCC issued two reports, in 2007 and 2009, which were compiled in ignorance of the significant information from the Mail group about the hacking of its journalists’ phones. According to The Guardian journalist Nick Davies, whose revelations had resulted in the News of the World phone hacking trial and subsequent conviction of Andy Coulson, this reinforced News International's "rogue reporter" defence.[10] The PCC's 2009 report, which had rejected Davies' claims of widespread hacking at the News of the World, was retracted when it became clear that they were true.[11] Wright and Dacre both also failed to mention the hacking of the four Mail on Sunday staff in the evidence they gave to the Leveson inquiry in 2012.[12]


  • You: You magazine is a women's magazine featured in The Mail on Sunday. Its mix of in-depth features plus fashion, beauty advice, practical insights on health and relationships, food recipes and interiors pages make it a regular read for over 3 million women (and 2.3 million men) every week. The Mail on Sunday is read by over six million a week.[13]
  • Event: this magazine includes articles on the arts, books and culture and carries reviews of all media and entertainment forms and interviews with sector personalities. It also has columns by well-known people such as Piers Morgan.
  • Sport on Sunday: a separate 24-page section edited by Alison Kervin. It features coverage of the Premier League and Football League games from Sunday and important international football games, motor racing and many other sports. Columnists include Stuart Broad and Glenn Hoddle. It is a campaigning and investigative sports section which ran a three year concussion campaign (from 2013) to keep players in rugby union safe from ECT and brain damage.
  • Financial Mail on Sunday: now part of the main paper, this section includes the Financial Mail Enterprise, focusing on small business.
  • Mail on Sunday 2: This pullout includes review, featuring articles on the arts, books and culture and it consists of reviews of all media and entertainment forms and interviews with sector personalities, property, travel and health.
  • Cartoons including The Gambols and Peanuts.

Notable writers




1982: Bernard Shrimsley
1982: David English
1982: Stewart Steven
1992: Jonathan Holborow
1998: Peter Wright
2012: Geordie Greig
2018: Ted Verity[14]

See also


  1. "The Mail on Sunday - Data - ABC | Audit Bureau of Circulations".
  2. "National newspaper circulation December 2007". The Guardian. UK. 2007. Archived from the original on 9 February 2008. Retrieved 12 April 2008.
  3. "Print ABCs: Seven UK national newspapers losing print sales at more than 10 per cent year on year". Press Gazette. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
  4. Dobbie, Peter (30 April 2004). "Farewell to 'Clive of Chiswick'". Daily Mail. London.
  5. "We are at a crossroads in our proud history and we must stay on course".
  6. "Mail on Sunday backs remain as major papers declare sides in EU referendum". Guardian Newspapers. 19 June 2016. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
  7. "THE MAIL ON SUNDAY COMMENT: Vote Remain for a safer, freer, more prosperous—and, yes, an even GREATER Britain". Daily Mail. 19 June 2016.
  8. Greenslade, Roy (2014). “Mail did not reveal to PCC or Leveson that News of the World hacked staff”, The Guardian, 1 August 2014. Retrieved 2 August 2014
  9. Press Complaints Commission (May 2008). Wright appointed to PCC”, Press Complaints Commission website, 15 May 2008. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  10. Davies, Nick (2014). "Hack Attack: How the truth caught up with Rupert Murdoch", Vintage, London, ISBN 9780099572367
  11. Press Complaints Commission (2011). "Statement from the PCC on phone hacking following meeting today (6 July 2011)" Archived 10 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Press Complaints Commission, 6 July 2011. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  12. Greenslade, Roy (2014). "Mail did not reveal to PCC or Leveson that News of the World hacked staff", The Guardian (London), 1 August 2014. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  13. Advertising for the Daily Mail Archived 4 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  14. Tobitt, Charlotte (12 September 2018). "Mail on Sunday appoints new political editor as Simon Walters moves to Daily Mail as assistant editor". Press Gazette. Progressive Media International. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
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