By Olivia Williams
Former News of the World reporter Paul McMullan has said phone hacking was a “school yard trick” and declared that “privacy is for paedos” in an explosive testimony before the Leveson inquiry.
“In 21 years of invading people’s privacy I’ve never actually come across anyone who’s been doing any good,” he told the hearing in London on Tuesday.
“Privacy is the space bad people need to do bad things in. Privacy is for paedos; fundamentally nobody else needs it.”
McMullan, who worked at the now defunct paper for seven years, explained that NotW journalists routinely hacked voicemails for the editors Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson.
They would casually swap private numbers between themselves, he recalled: “I think I swapped Sylvester Stallone’s mother for David Beckham.”
He turned on his former editors, calling Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson “the scum of journalism” for “trying to drop me and my colleagues in it” by claiming that they did not know about the illicit practice.
He particularly singled out Andy Coulson, an embarrassment for David Cameron who hired him as an advisor:
“My assertion has always been that Andy Coulson brought that practice wholesale with him when he was appointed deputy editor”.