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Gallagher, 58, who has served as deputy editor since 2020, has started in the role with immediate effect.
It marks his third national newspaper editing job. He led The Daily Telegraph between 2009 and 2014, and The Sun between 2015 and 2020.
Gallagher also worked at the Daily Mail over two stints. Between 1990 and 2006, he rose from reporter to assistant editor. He briefly served as a deputy editor between his jobs at the Telegraph and Sun.
Gallagher transferred from The Sun to The Times in early 2020.