The Federation of Independent Retailers (NFRN) has expressed shock at the news that Reach chief operating officer Neil Jagger is to leave the newspaper publisher.

Mr Jagger is one of 550 employees at the Mirror and Express publisher to lose their jobs as part of a restructure.

National President Stuart Reddish said: “Neil’s departure will have come as a great shock to everyone in the news industry.

“The NFRN has had a close working relationship with him for many years, during his long career in regional newspapers, at Mail Newspapers and, more latterly, at Reach.

“I’m sure that Neil would agree that while we have not always seen eye to eye, we have always respected each other’s views. We wish him all the best for the future.”

Mr Reddish added: “I hope that Reach will be in contact shortly to let us know its plans for the future.”

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