Sarah Sands is new editor of London Evening Standard

Evgeny Lebedev confirms appointment of Geordie Greig's replacement on Twitter after Boris Johnson backs Sands

Sarah Sands is the new editor of London Evening Standard, the title's proprietor Evgeny Lebedev has confirmed on Twitter.

Lebedev said on Friday he was "proud to announce Sarah Sands is new #Standard Editor. Sure she and her brilliant staff will do a great job in a huge year for the paper".

The appointment came as little surprise – earlier this week MediaGuardian reported that Sands was being lined up for the job – but it follows an extraordinary month following the announcement of Geordie Greig's departure for the Mail on Sunday.

It is understood that Sands, the Evening Standard deputy editor, had said she would resign to join Greig as his deputy on the Sunday tabloid, because Lebedev had wanted to take his time in deciding who would take the top job.

However, Sands changed her mind, partly at the urging of London mayor and friend Boris Johnson, who is understood to have said she would regret not sitting in the editor's chair.

MediaGuardian understands Johnson and a range of London figures consulted by Lebedev mostly came out in support of Sands, leading the proprietor to speed up his own decision to ensure she stayed.

Mayor Johnson was in the Standard's office meeting executives and staff on 7 March, a week after Greig made the surprise announcement that he had been asked by Viscount Rothermere to edit the Mail on Sunday. It is thought he used that opportunity to advance Sands's case, but when asked by reporters earlier on Friday whether he wanted her to get the job, he was non-committal.

However, Sands's friendship with the mayor – dating back to when she looked after his Daily Telegraph column a decade ago when she worked on the paper – had led some journalists at the title to speculate that the newspaper would more firmly embrace the Conservatives under her editorship.

Friends of Sands dispute that thinking, saying that there are no plans to return the newspaper to the strident anti-Livingstone agenda of the era of former editor Veronica Wadley. While she remains a good friend of Johnson, and in particular his wife Marina, Sands does not want the freesheet to lecture its readers.

Her allies point to decisions to commission Sonia Purnell, author of a critical biography of Johnson, and ongoing work with Labour MP and former culture secretary Tessa Jowell.

Nor is it clear how far the Lebedevs have personally warmed to mayor Johnson.

Ian Walker is promoted to senior deputy editor and will edit the paper in Sands's absence. Other promotions involve Charlotte Ross to a deputy editor position, while Amy Iggulden is promoted to assistant editor (news).

Sands has been working at or near the top of Fleet Street for two decades. She was deputy editor of the Daily Telegraph in the late 1990s and first half of the 2000s, before briefly becoming editor of the Sunday Telegraph.

She lasted less than a year at the Sunday title, before being unexpectedly dismissed. Sands later edited the Reader's Digest before becoming the Evening Standard's deputy three years ago.

• To contact the MediaGuardian news desk email or phone 020 3353 3857. For all other inquiries please call the main Guardian switchboard on 020 3353 2000. If you are writing a comment for publication, please mark clearly "for publication".

• To get the latest media news to your desktop or mobile, follow MediaGuardian on Twitter and Facebook


Dan Sabbagh

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Sarah Sands named deputy editor of London Evening Standard
Former Sunday Telegraph editor joins Geordie Greig's team under Alexander Lebedev. By Mark Sweney

Mark Sweney

20, Feb, 2009 @12:48 PM

Article image
Emily Sheffield departs as editor of Evening Standard
David Cameron’s sister-in-law departs London newspaper hot seat just 15 months after replacing George Osborne

Jim Waterson Media editor

21, Oct, 2021 @10:45 AM

Article image
Ethics committee may ask Osborne to decline Evening Standard role
Under-fire former chancellor tells fellow MPs ‘parliament is enhanced when we have people from all walks of life’

Jessica Elgot and Esther Addley

20, Mar, 2017 @7:21 PM

Article image
Geordie Greig confirmed as London Evening Standard editor

Tatler editor will lead London Evening Standard - as Veronica Wadley announces she is to leave Associated Newspapers. By Oliver Luft

Oliver Luft

02, Feb, 2009 @11:28 AM

Article image
Independent and Evening Standard lose appeal over libel case
Judgment in Bruno Lachaux case establishes ‘serious harm’ to reputation must be proved

Jim Waterson Media editor

12, Jun, 2019 @11:01 AM

Article image
Saudi state part-owns Evening Standard and Independent, court told
Government lawyer tells court part-sale of news outlets has ‘public interest considerations’

Jim Waterson Media editor

23, Jul, 2019 @5:30 PM

Article image
Sarah Sands expected to become London Evening Standard editor
Search for Geordie Greig's replacement continues this week, but Standard's deputy editor is believed to be leading pack. By Dan Sabbagh and Mark Sweney

Dan Sabbagh and Mark Sweney

28, Mar, 2012 @10:32 AM

Article image
Osborne's new job confirms disturbing Tory dominance of the media | Roy Greenslade
From Johnson to Gove, Tories are revelling in their links to papers, and proprietors no longer try to hide their rightwing views

Roy Greenslade

17, Mar, 2017 @5:17 PM

Article image
George Osborne facing calls to quit as MP over Evening Standard job
Former chancellor appointed as London daily’s new editor is under pressure from Labour and some Tories to resign as Tatton MP

Esther Addley, Anushka Asthana, Lisa O'Carroll and Jessica Elgot

17, Mar, 2017 @4:34 PM

Evening Standard halves losses to £16.9m

London's free paper reduces its loss by 45% and predicts £7.7m loss next time around

Roy Greenslade

28, Jun, 2011 @9:03 AM