Why the Fake Sheik Has Been Recalled

Guido’s spiritual mother Madame Popbitch is up at Leveson next week, but that wasn’t the only name on the witness list to catch his eye. The Fake Sheik, Mazher Mahmood, has been recalled. The clue to why is the witness immediately before him on the list – his old boss Roy Greenslade. After Mahmood’s farcical first outing, Greenslade wrote:

It is lucky – for both of us – that I had to listen to his contribution from the media marquee because press and public were banned from the courtroom … because I would certainly have shouted out when he replied to counsel’s question about why he had left the paper under a cloud. He said simply: “We had a disagreement.”

A disagreement? Well, that’s one way of describing it. In fact, it is a euphemistic description of the reality. “We” – the paper and, in this case, me – had a major falling out with Mahmood. I was then at the Sunday Times, running the news department, and I recall the incident well. When Mahmood resigned, he was on the verge of being dismissed for an act regarded within the office as gross impropriety.

Greenslade directly challenges Mahmood’s evidence and the showdown is set for Wednesday. Get the background here and grab the popcorn…




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