One of the most memorable of testimonies to the Leveson Inquiry was from former Screws hack Paul McMullan, now reinvented as a pub landlord in Dover, where he was visited by a suitably wired Hugh Grant and recorded indulging in an unusually generous measure of candour. McMullan’s most memorable sentiment was to tell the Inquiry “Privacy Is For Paedos”.
Thus the Murdoch hackery’s paranoia about what is happening behind all those closed doors that they have not yet figured out a way – legitimate or otherwise – of peering through. And McMullan was not content with just running the Castle Inn: he fetched up at UKIP’s spring conference and proclaimed to Channel 4’s Michael Crick that he was now the party’s press officer in Dover.
So he was a busy bloke, given that the Castle Inn site also incorporates Dover Backpackers, which has generated, shall we say, a wide range of reviews on TripAdvisor, not all of them complimentary (try not to have food or drink to hand when reading those reviews, which you can find right HERE). The line about the landlord “living in a parallel universe” was my favourite.
Was McMullan, then, also submitting himself to the electorate of the Dover area? He certainly was. “Former News of the World journalist Paul McMullan, who was among those who gave evidence to the Leveson Inquiry on phone-hacking allegations, is to stand for one of the Dover seats at the election on May 2” told the East Kent Mercury, in an article on March 14. And there was more.
“He has also been appointed as the press officer for the Dover and Deal branch of UKIP, and says he would be interested in eventually standing for the European Parliament”. McMullen chipped in “I believe I can win in Dover ... I think the protest vote will continue to that election”. Yes, tomorrow Kent County Council, and then onward to Brussels.
Or maybe not, because at some time between his chance meeting with Michael Crick and the nomination of candidates, UKIP had second thoughts, and before the locals could get used to McMullan being one of Farage’s flock, he had been unceremoniously binned: the headline was now “Dover landlord Paul McMullan 'stabbed in the back' by Ukip over county elections”.
Yes, not only had the unfortunate paedo pursuit practitioner been “stabbed in the back”, he’d been stabbed “with a rusty blade”. Phwoarr! Fair brings tears to the eyes eh!?! So what happened? UKIP’s only statement was “There was a feeling that his candidacy for Ukip would be a distraction as he'd be the story rather than the party”, which, freely translated, means “it seemed a good idea at the time”.
Perhaps, as they’re prepared to bin the nutters, UKIP really is a serious party.