Nick Davies in his Guardian story today about the News of the World hiring private investigator Derek Webb to spy on lawyers working for the victims of phone hacking has this intriguing par:
"Webb is now also in dispute with the newspaper and has sought the help of the National Union of Journalists to pursue a claim that the News of the World failed to honour an agreement to give him a loyalty payment after the paper closed in July."
Why would a private investigator ask for help from the NUJ unless he was a member - and anyway it's a union for journalists isn't it?
Then I remembered this story from the latest issue of the NUJ's magazine, The Journalist, (top) which I posted about on October 28 as follows:
News of the World management instructed a private detective to join the NUJ and obtain a press card so he could "become a journalist" as a cover, according to the union's submission to the Leveson Inquiry.
The NUJ says the man was told to "stop" being a private detective and instead "became a journalist" in the wake of the arrest of NoW royal reporter, Clive Goodman.
The union describes it as "a breathtakingly cynical move" given News International's refusal to recognise the NUJ, according to the latest issue of the NUJ magazine The Journalist.
It says the man's work remained unchanged - surveillance of celebrity "targets"- some of whom have emerged as victims of phone hacking.
News International derecognised the NUJ when it left Fleet Street for Wapping in 1986 and set-up its own staff association.
- Nick Davies also reports that: "In November 2008, Webb was cleared of aiding and abetting misconduct in public office in a controversial case in which Thames Valley police arrested a local newspaper journalist, Sally Murrer, and tried to have her prosecuted for receiving information from a police officer."
- A Newsnight report and interview with Derek Webb was broadcast yesterday (Monday) with more revelations promised tonight (Tuesday).