Ex-deputy editor on police payroll gave NOTW stories

By James Cusick
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The Independent Online

The former deputy editor of the News of the World, Neil Wallis, was paid more £25,000 for feeding News International (NI) crime stories while working for Scotland Yard as a consultant, it was alleged today.

Although he received £24,000 in fees from the Metropolitan Police, he was moonlighting for Rupert Murdoch's UK news empire, which included the NOTW. Details of the payments have been obtained by detectives investigating the phone-hacking scandal at the now-defunct paper.

Records seen by The Daily Telegraph showed payments from NI were allegedly made to Mr Wallis during 2008 and 2009 after he had left the NOTW and was a consultant at Scotland Yard. He is also believed to have sold stories to other newspapers.

Known in Fleet Street as "the Wolfman", his biggest payday from his former employers was reported to have been £10,000, for an exclusive.

Mr Wallis is said to have provided NI with details of a suspected assassination attempt on the Pope during his visit to London last year. Mr Wallis's solicitor last night issued a statement alleging information on his client had been leaked by Scotland Yard.

Phil Smith, of Tuckers Solicitors, said: "I confirm that we have today complained formally to The Metropolitan Police over the leaking of information from Operation Weeting.

"We object to the publication of any story based on this information which has been obtained from a source with no authority to place such information in the public domain. We will be pursuing this matter further."

Mr Wallis's old boss at the NOTW, Andy Coulson, is suing his former employers, News Group Newspapers, for breach of contract after they stopped paying his lawyers.

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