Independent On Sunday closes print version with Lights Out headline

It will be Lights Out for The Independent On Sunday as the title closes its print version and moves to online-only.

More than 25 years since its launch, Sunday's final edition carries an interview with David Cameron - followed by a tough appraisal of the Prime Minister's record from the paper.

A striking front page features the gloomy cityscape of Shanghai during Earth Hour, the annual switch off of lights around the world to highlight environmental issues.

The brooding image serves as a metaphor for the fading to black of a chapter in the newspaper's own history. Its daily counterpart, The Independent, will also cease to be produced in print on March 26.

To mark the sombre occasion designers at the newspaper dimmed parts of the masthead to leave "The End" floating alongside the headline "Lights Out".

"Here is the last print edition of this newspaper, but the news never stops," a message reads below.

As the closing edition went to print on Saturday, editor Lisa Markwell tweeted an image of the cover and wrote: "First (and last) look at the @IndyOnSunday front page. As strong, distinctive and smart as 1990. Goodnight."

The editorial recounts the paper's founding principles of being green, socially and economically liberal and "wedded" to "social justice".

It also reminds readers it began as a "European" newspaper and features Britain's leading pro-European in its early pages.

Mr Cameron urged those who wish to remain within Europe not to be complacent and stay at home on polling day, telling voters: "For heaven's sake get out and vote in, because you might wake up and find out you're out."

The Prime Minister did not get a free pass though.

"At best, Mr Cameron's record has been mixed, at a time when climate change has been a long global emergency. It is on social justice, however, that we have been most disappointed," the leader said, with a plea for the PM to alter the course of Chancellor George Osborne's welfare cuts as set out in the Budget.

There is just a dusting of reflective pieces in the paper, including a piece by Steve Connor, science editor since its launch.

The advent of crime scene DNA fingerprinting, mad cow disease and the adoption of IVF were defining moments in the history of a paper that held science reporting at its core.

Owners Alexander and Evgeny Lebedev announced last month that The Sunday Independent and its daily stablemate will drop their print versions, reportedly putting around 75 jobs at risk.

The Independent was launched by a group of journalists led by Andreas Whittam Smith in 1986. It enjoyed initial success, rising to a circulation passing 400,000 by 1988, and claimed it was free from proprietorial influence.

The Independent On Sunday launched in 1990 with Stephen Glover as editor.

They are part of the group owned by the Lebedev family, who have other media assets including the Evening Standard and local TV station London Live.

Current paid circulation at the daily title is just over 40,000 while its Sunday sister sells just under 43,000 copies.

By contrast the i, bought by Johnston Press for around £24 million, has a circulation of 275,000 and reported profits of £5.2 million last year.