The Times Editor James Harding Resigns

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The editor of The Times newspaper, James Harding, has resigned and will leave the post at the end of the month.

Mr Harding, 43, one of the youngest journalists ever to take charge of the paper, informed the national independent directors of The Times this morning, News International and Times Newspapers Ltd said.

In a resignation speech to editorial staff, he said: "It has been made clear to me that News Corporation (NasdaqGS: NWS - news) would like to appoint a new editor of the Times.

"I have, therefore, agreed to stand down. I called Rupert (Murdoch) this morning to offer my resignation and he accepted it."

Mr Murdoch, chairman and CEO of News Corporation said: "James has been a distinguished editor for The Times, attracting talented staff to the paper and leading it through difficult times.

"I have great respect for him as a colleague and friend, and truly hope we can work together again."

Mr Harding listed a number of successes achieved under his leadership including campaigns on family courts, adoption and cycling as well as hard-hitting investigations into child sex grooming and tax avoidance.

Mr Harding began his journalistic career at the Financial Times after studying at Cambridge University.

He opened its Shanghai bureau and served as bureau chief in Washington before joining The Times as business editor.

The national independent directors of The Times will be now be consulted on a replacement, a company spokesman said.