By Lord Ashcroft
As the editor of The Times, James Harding produced a lively, award-winning newspaper as well as enjoying the admiration and support of his staff.
However, this week he learnt that to survive in the post every editor also needs the confidence and backing of his, or her, proprietor – particularly when that person is Rupert Murdoch, the world’s most powerful media mogul.
I discovered some months ago through senior sources that Mr Harding was on borrowed time – for various reasons he had lost Mr Murdoch’s confidence to an extent where the relationship could not be repaired. After that, there was only going to be one outcome – Mr Harding’s departure. He resigned on Wednesday.