ONE of the longest-serving editors in the regional press is to step down from his role after almost a quarter of a century.

Perry Austin-Clarke was the youngest daily newspaper editor ever appointed in Westminster Press (now part of the Newsquest Media group) when he took on leadership of the Bradford Telegraph & Argus in 1992.

He became Group Editor of Newsquest (Bradford) in 2001, taking on additional responsibility for the Keighley News, Craven Herald, Ilkley Gazette and Wharfedale Observer, and in December 2014 was promoted to Group Editor of Newsquest (Yorkshire), adding the editorship of The Press, in York, and the Gazette & Herald, in Ryedale, to his portfolio.

Mr Austin-Clarke, who is leaving to start his own media business, said: “When I was asked to apply for the T&A job, I was told to expect to do it for five years.

“But that’s the effect Bradford has on people; it’s a fantastic city with wonderfully open and generous residents, but it also has more than its fair share of problems.

“That makes every single day a challenge that sucks you in because you can always see the potential in Bradford, even if those who gainsay it can’t.

“So, editorship of the T&A has been a fascinating and all-consuming experience.”

He said leaving the T&A after more than 24 years would be a “wrench”.

“I have worked over the years with many very fine, talented and totally committed journalists – both in Bradford and York – who have donated an incredible amount of effort and goodwill to producing the best possible newspaper and websites every day, often under very challenging conditions,” he added.

He will continue to be associated with the T&A, writing for the paper and working on special projects.

Newsquest managing director (North), David Coates, said: “I would like to thank Perry for his enormous contribution to the success of all our titles in both Bradford and York during a long and distinguished career, and wish him every success with his new venture.”