Daily Telegraph co-owner Sir David Barclay dies aged 86

13 January 2021, 08:55 | Updated: 13 January 2021, 09:53

The prime minister has led tributes to the co-owner of The Daily Telegraph, Sir David Barclay, who has died at the age of 86 after a short illness.

Sir David, with his identical twin Sir Frederick, took ownership of the Telegraph Media Group in 2004 during a business career that took in hotels, shipping and retail.

It gained them a fortune estimated at £7bn, according to the latest Sunday Times Rich List.

The Daily Telegraph reported his death overnight, though it said that he died on Sunday.

Boris Johnson, whose earlier work included a stint as a reporter at the paper, wrote on Twitter: "Farewell with respect and admiration to Sir David Barclay who rescued a great newspaper, created many thousands of jobs across the UK and who believed passionately in the independence of this country and what it could achieve."

The paper said the publicity-shy Barclay brothers "operated as one" throughout their business lives.

It quoted a colleague as saying Sir David was distinct from Sir Frederick in that he was "more attuned to taking a risk, and Frederick was generally willing to have a look but would never bet the farm".

The pair acquired The Daily Telegraph for £665m following an auction process after a US court blocked a private deal in 2003 with its then Canadian owner, Conrad Black's Hollinger Group.