The newspaper's online edition was the fifth most widely read in the world in October 2014, with over 42.6 million readers.
Aitken publicly stated that he would fight with "the simple sword of truth and the trusty shield of British fair play".
The paper supported NATO's military intervention in the Kosovo War in 1998–1999.
In the existing Irish situation, most regrettably, it is also inevitable... To remove the ringleaders, in the hope that the atmosphere might calm down, is a step to which there is no obvious alternative." In 1983 the paper was at the centre of a controversy surrounding documents regarding the stationing of cruise missiles in Britain that were leaked to The Guardian by civil servant Sarah Tisdall.
The paper eventually complied with a court order to hand over the documents to the authorities, which resulted in a six-month prison sentence for Tisdall, though she served only four.
The Guardian asked Aslam to resign his membership of the group and, when he did not do so, terminated his employment.