Press Release from The Spectator:
Statement by Boris Johnson, editor of The Spectator, on joining David Cameron’s shadow team:
This is a fantastic job [Shadow Minister for Higher Education] and I am thrilled to be given the chance to do it. It is also a very hard job to do properly. It will mean a lot of time and thought.
That is why I will be leaving the Spectator shortly after the Christmas edition has gone to press. Until a new editor is appointed, the magazine will be in the highly-capable hands of my colleague and deputy Stuart Reid.
I want to pay tribute to everyone at the magazine who has helped with its current success, in editorial, production and advertising. For the last six and a half years we have had more fun than seems altogether proper.
When Conrad Black gave me the editorship in the summer of 1999, he said he wanted the magazine to be more talked about. I believe we have discharged that obligation beyond his wildest dreams.
We have won all sorts of prizes. We have broken all sorts of stories.
This Christmas the circulation of the magazine stands at about 70,000, an all-time high.
I am also grateful to our proprietors, the Barclay family, and Andrew Neil, our chief executive, for their kindliness and support. But my particular thanks go to everyone at the Spectator, especially to Stuart Reid.
For most of my time here I have been propelled by their talents, as a fat German tourist may be transported by superior alpinists to the summit of Everest. I am completely confident that they will continue to expand and improve the oldest, best and best-written magazine in the English language.
Statement by Andrew Neil, Chief Executive of The Spectator:
Boris has been a wonderful and magnificent editor of The Spectator and we are sorry to lose him; in many ways he will be irreplaceable. But we wish him every success in his political career.
Boris leaves the magazine in better shape than it has ever been in its long and glorious history, both editorially and financially. Sales will hit a record 70,000 this December and the magazine has recorded another healthy profit in 2005. The editorial breadth and quality under his editorship has been unrivalled.
Though he is stepping down as editor I am delighted that Boris will continue to have a close association with The Spectator, including a new column for us in the New Year. As we begin the search for his replacement, I am also delighted that the magazine will be in the reliable and competent hands of Stuart Reid.