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Sun political editor made Liverpool Press Club president

Journalists quit over David Wooding appointment but club says employer is 'not a factor'

Written by . Published on October 29th 2013.

Sun political editor made Liverpool Press Club president

THREE journalists have resigned their membership of the Liverpool Press Club after a senior executive on the Sun was announced as its new president.

Dingle-born David Wooding, assistant political editor at the tabloid which has been widely boycotted in Liverpool since its coverage of the Hillsborough disaster in 1989, says on his website he was unanimously elected to the position.

However, members say the first they knew of it was when an invitation to the club's Christmas party was circulated on email. 

The news prompted three well known members to immediately quit the club, describing the appointment as “fairly unbelievable”.


In the email, which went out last week, Mr Wooding said: " It is a wonderful honour to be invited to be your President for 2013, which I am proud and delighted to accept.  It is now 27 years since I left Liverpool to advance my career in Fleet Street - but I always look forward to returning for the annual Press Club lunch." 

Dave Wooding 1Dave Wooding One of the members who quit did not want to be named but said: “The Sun is not something that we, as journalists working in Liverpool, want to be associated with – or can be associated with. I've never met David Wooding and colleagues say he's a very nice chap, but essentially no one consulted us on this, no one asked us about it.

"Put it this way, had it been put out to a vote, this would never have happened.” 

The Liverpool Press Club has more than 200 members, many of them now working in the PR field or retired. 

However its role has changed out of all recognition in recent years. Where once the club was a physical presence in the city (housed in the basement of the Adelphi in the 1980s) it now it only meets for social occasions.

The journalist addded: “There are about two events a year and you meet some of the lads from the TV and some from the radio who you don't see very often.

"It's not important, but even if it was important, it's not something we would have agreed with. It's already causing ructions in certain parts of the city.” 


Another added:  "I've nothing personal against David Wooding or the Press Club. It's just that hearing a Sun journalist has been made president will anger a lot of people in this city and I don't want to be a part of it."

News of Mr Wooding's role sparked fury among Liverpool football club fan forums, with one, the Anfield Wrap, demanding the club “recognise their mistake (and) strip Wooding of his title”.

Referring to Hillsborough and the Sun, it said: “Awareness may not stretch the length and breadth of the UK, into Europe or worldwide, but in Liverpool it’s hard to plead ignorance. Feelings run high to this day, and most are aware of that fact – particularly those working in the media.”

The Old Press Club In The Adelphi HotelThe old Press Club in
the Adelphi Hotel
It follows last month's revelation that Wooding's boss, Victoria Newton, the new editor of the Sun on Sunday, is an LFC fan, also born in the city.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the Liverpool branch of the NUJ applauded the decision of the members to resign, bit said the club was "an irrelevance".

Mike Rickett said:  “The Liverpool Press Club is nothing more than a luncheon club and with the parlous state of media in this city, most of the journalists left are too busy trying to scratch a living to have time to be part of it.”

In a statement, the Liverpool Press Club said: "David Wooding is a respected colleague who has pursued a distinguished journalist career in Merseyside and elsewhere.    

"The Liverpool Press Club was founded in 1883 and it has been an abiding maxim of its members that professional status or ranking was left at the door, and that members are all treated as equals.
"David's employment status is not a factor in his membership of the Club nor his role as President."
It denied there had been any resignations, saying: "A number of journalists, who are on the club's email list, have asked to be removed from the mailing list. That is always their prerogative."


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23 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Nuff SaidOctober 30th 2013.

It's a non event, "political editor", "senior executive". The headline might as well read, Ducker and Diver from Dingle joins luncheon club. Who reads the rag anyway?

3 Responses: Reply To This...
MuffOctober 30th 2013.

Agree it is a non-event because here is some perspective. Unfortunately there are those who are making heavy weather of it on Twitter and on the various LFC fan forums.

Jim FitzsimonsNovember 1st 2013.

Let us just ignore it then and once again pretend its not detrimental to the club or fans. "No one resigned "....typical cover up yet again in case it may tarnish the name. Wake up !!!!

AnonymousNovember 1st 2013.

The reason that this is important is that AFTER EVERYTHING that has gone on between the S*n and Liverpool, a small group of journalists - who claim to speak for the city - think it's OK to ride roughshod over the feelings of those involved. Not just a few people, but a lot of people. They are a disgrace.

AnonymousOctober 30th 2013.

Does this mean there will be strippers at the Christmas party for all those retired old farts?

SaladDazeNovember 1st 2013.

Hitler used to live in Liverpool and work at the Adelphi. Wouldn't he be a more appropriate president for the oxymoronic Liverpool Press Club?

6 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousNovember 1st 2013.

There are plenty of morons about

AnonymousNovember 1st 2013.

There is no proof whatsoever that Hitler worked or lived here, it s just a rumour. A rumour that keeps getting spread by morons.

Billy HitlerNovember 1st 2013.

How do you know? Bridget Hitler in her memoirs was very clear that young Adolf got off the train at Lime Street. Although equally spurious rumour says he never got off at Edge Hill

Nuff SaidNovember 1st 2013.

I first read the story of Hitler having lived in Upper Stanhope St many years ago. If my recall is correct it was his half brother a chap called Schickellgruber who was married to an Irish woman named Bridget, their children were baptized at nearby St Patricks church. They were expecting Adolf's younger brother, but Adolf showed up instead.

SaladDazeNovember 2nd 2013.

It was a joke. Where have all the ironics gone? have they joined the moronics? As outlandish as the Liverpool Press Club appointing (electing?!) a 'journalist' from The Hillsbroughlie as el presidente.

AnonymousNovember 2nd 2013.

I wasn't having a go at you Salad Daze :(

SaladDazeNovember 1st 2013.

PS why use a picture of David Moyes to illustrate an article about the tweeting Tory front man?

SaladDazeNovember 1st 2013.

The Press Club has an excellent view of what constitutes latest www.liverpoolpressclub.co.uk/…/news.php…

Dave MurphNovember 1st 2013.

Press Club is run by the people who run Click Liverpool and Mercury Press and Bay TV and they have no excuse for not knowing better. However anyone who's got a SKY TV dish doesn't have much of an excuse either.

1 Response: Reply To This...
SaladDazeNovember 2nd 2013.

Indeed. 40p in the £ of your every Sky sub goes in the Murdoch maw.

AnonymousNovember 1st 2013.

There are very few Journalists in employment these days and David Wooding is fortunate to have a job. There are plenty of people working for companies that they don't want to, probably most of the Liverpool Confidential Journalists would rather be working for a national newspaper, but there are very few jobs available and most would take a job with The Sun, if offered one. Because of the web newspaper sales have suffered, just check the sales of the Echo today compared to 1989, and Journalists, like most, cannot afford to be fussy. This article is also a little vague about the 3 journalists who have left the Press Club, which is only a social club these days, I would ask, did they ever support the events?

3 Responses: Reply To This...
EditorialNovember 1st 2013.

Thanks. The three asked not to be named because they did not want the story to become about them. Most ordinary day-to-day journalists are quite private people outside of a byline. However working the patch that they do or being from this city, they felt they could not personally or professionally support the latest move (see their quotes), and wanted their names disassociated with the Press Club. They said they rarely supported the events anyway and all said they bore no animosity towards Dave Wooding as a person

SaladDazeNovember 2nd 2013.

Of course there are very few 'proper' jobs for press journalists. That doesn't mean those who are thus unemployed should become prostitutes.

Curly Wee and Gussie GooseNovember 3rd 2013.

"just check the sales of the Echo today compared to 1989" - well what can you expect? I haven't bought it for years because I can remember when the Echo had news in it. The current version has yesterday's stories in it and it is more like 'Take a Break' than a newspaper. There is nothing in it for me.

Nuff SaidNovember 3rd 2013.

It carries the same stories as The Metro. The Echo is no longer an evening paper, that's why it's yesterday's news. The price has rocketed in real terms, its gone from 28p to 55p in recent years, the Saturday edition costs 80p. A much more comprehensive Liverpool daily post at £1 is better value for money. Or better still get the Metro for gratis.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Mickeydrippin'November 9th 2013.

Agreed. It is now printed in Oldham in the morning for distribution during the afternoon and therefore, unlike years ago, there is no late edition for up-to-the-minute stories that might break during the day. Since the demise of the Daily Post, it is therefore no longer an evening paper but is now Merseyside's local daily paper -albeit giving the previous day's news.

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