The right-leaning Daily Telegraph broadsheet and Spectator magazine, favourites of politicians in the leading Conservative Party, are being sold after Lloyds Banking Group in June seized control following a long-running dispute with former owners, the Barclay family.

But the government told RedBird in the letter that the minister was concerned about the potential for it to influence the Telegraph's operations.

"My Department has today written to the Barclay family and RedBird IMI, the current and proposed owners of Telegraph Media Group (TMG), to inform them that I will be issuing a Public Interest Intervention Notice (PIIN)" media minister Lucy Frazer said in a statement.

(Reporting by Alistair Smout and Paul Sandle, Editing by Kate Holton and Michael Holden)