The former editor of The Sun has described David Cameron's alleged attempt to remove Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre as "shocking" and said it demonstrates the extent of his desperation ahead of the EU referendum.
BBC Newsnight claims the owner of the Mail, Lord Rothermere, told Dacre Cameron had demanded his removal because of his pro-Brexit line.
Cameron is alleged to have urged Lord Rothermere to rein Dacre in or sack him, although the suggestion has been denied by a spokesman for the former prime minister.
Neil Wallis, who is now a media consultant, told Julia Hartley-Brewer the Mail was simply reflecting the stance of its readers in pushing for Brexit.
He added that Cameron's alleged attempt to get Dacre sacked was an "affront to democracy... the idea that a prime minister thinks he should have the power to have a newspaper editor sacked for daring to reflect the views of the readership is quite shocking.
"It was probably a sign of his desperation, probably a sign of his arrogance."