Among those tweeting the news are Times' journalists David Aaronovitch and Daniel Finkelstein.
The Independent announced on April 9 in the run-up to the General Election that Alton was standing down with immediate effect. He has been replaced by Independent editor-in-chief Simon Kelner.
The paper quoted Alton saying: "I think it's right, following the sale of the paper to Alexander and Evgeny Lebedev, that the new owners should be free to appoint an editor of their own choosing. The two-year period in which I have been editor of The Independent has been easily the most exhilarating and exciting time of my career, and every day has been a chance to learn from a truly remarkable collection of colleagues and workmates, the most talented, dedicated and likeable of any group I have worked with. I wish them all the very best for the future, and I am sure that, under the ownership of the Lebedevs, the paper will go from strength to strength."
- Alton is never short of a great quote. See: Five hard lessons I've learnt about newspapers.