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Share Comments (2) Former Sun editor David Yelland has cast further doubt on claims by Andy Coulson that he was unaware of phone-hacking during his editorship of the News of the World.
Yelland told an audience of students in Coventry last week: “I can’t believe a fellow editor would not know phone tapping was in action.”
Commenting on the fact that the private investigator who worked for the NoW, Glenn Mulcaire, was paid £100,000 in a year for his work, Yelland said he believed that any sum more than £1,000 would have to be signed off by someone “in deep carpet land”.
He added: “It would be impossible for anyone at News International not to know what was going on.”
Mulcaire was sent to prison along with the paper’s royal editor editor, Clive Goodman, on charges relating to the interception of voicemails.
Yelland was editor of The Sun from 1998 until 2003. In his first two years there, Coulson was also on the paper, running the Bizarre column. In May 2000, he was appointed deputy editor of the News of the World, becoming editor in January 2003.
Though Yelland’s comments will not go down well with Rupert Murdoch, Yelland referred to his former boss as the “best newspaper proprietor of all time.”
I have a feeling that Murdoch would not return the compliment. It was remarkable that he kept Yelland as editor for so long.
Soon after his departure, a senior Sun executive told me he witnessed Murdoch making a disparaging remark about Yelland to the new editor, Rebekah Brooks (then Wade).
Yelland has since confessed to having been an alcoholic during his time at The Sun. He talked to the students about his heavy drinking, and blamed what he called one of his biggest mistakes – allowing a front page headline about Britain being run by a ‘gay mafia’ – on having been drunk in Dublin that day.
Yelland is now a partner at PR firm Brunswick.
Source: John Mair/journalism.co.uk See also Coventry University iTunes for a podcast of Yelland’s talk