It was founded in 1983 as simply The Leader, a replacement for a title launched just two years earlier, the Star. It became the Staines & District Leader in 1988, then between 1989 and 1994 it fluctuated between being the News Extra and the Herald News Extra. It became the Staines Leader in 1994, the Staines & Ashford Leader in 1995, and then the Staines Leader once more in 2002, retaining that title until its demise.
It was published by the Southern division of Trinity Mirror, the UK’s biggest newspaper publishing group, and was one of two freesheets they produced for the area, the other being the Staines Informer. The web presence was through the Staines pages of the Surrey Herald & News, the paid title for the area.
There was one local sub-edition: the Feltham Leader.
It came out on Thursdays.
The Staines Leader series ceased publication in October 2008.