Email trail: How Tom Watson was stalked

 

Email 1

From: Mazher Mahmood
To: James Mellor
CC: Ian Edmondson
Time: 10.05am, 26 September 2009

Tom Watson MP who is a close lackey of Gordon Brown (ex-whip, anti-Blair etc) is shagging a [redacted]. The pair are already in Brighton for the conference and he has been creeping into her hotel. [redacted]. My informant knows her but won't push her anymore about where she is staying etc. It will need politics to point out Tom at the conference and then for our biker to follow them. Also if you have someone doing nothing today, can they ring every hotel in Brighton and try to identify where they are staying? They are in separate hotels.

It's a Saturday morning and the News of the World's "fake sheikh", Mazher Mahmood, brings in a tip: Labour MP Tom Watson is "shagging" a female politician. Mahmood describes Watson as a "close lackey" of the Prime Minister Gordon Brown and also as "anti-Blair". The email was sent days before News International's biggest daily paper, The Sun, switched its support from Labour to David Cameron's Conservatives. Although totally false, the email – headed: Labour sex scandal – excites the paper's newsdesk. Mahmood makes reference to "our biker". The News of the World may have employed a motorcyclist to follow targets. In 2010, Watson kept noticing a motorcyclist outside his flat.

 

Email 2

From: Ian Edmondson
To: Mazher Mahmood
Time: 10.11am, 26 September

Great story. Get Derek on the case today. Ps he's v easy to spot. You might want to checks his recent cutts, v interesting!

Six minutes after Mahmood sends his email, the assistant editor (News), Ian Edmondson, who is copied into the correspondence, responds "great story" and adds: "Get Derek on the case today." Derek is Derek Webb, the former policeman who followed scores of celebrities, sports people and politicians – including Cabinet ministers – for the News of the World. He would tail his targets, noting down where they went, what they wore and who they met. If Webb found evidence of illicit affairs, he would call the News of the World's newsdesk, who would send a photographer to capture the evidence.

 

Email 3

From: Mazher Mahmood
To: James Mellor
Time: 10.15am, 26 September

Ian suggests we put Derek on the case.

Mahmood informs Mellor, the news editor, that Edmondson, Mellor's superior, does intend to commission Derek Webb.

 

Email 4

From: James Mellor
To: Mazher Mahmood
Time: 10.28am, 26 September

Let me have a think given [redacted] story.

Boss is minded to front [redacted] later today. I'll check when he wants us to go to him and let you know.

Mellor appears to express reservations about deploying Webb, though it's possible this first sentence is about a different story because News International has redacted a key word.

Email 5

From: Mazher Mahmood
To: James Mellor
Time: 10.34am, 26 September

OK.

Mahmood waits for instructions.

Email 6

From: James Mellor
To: Mazher Mahmood
Time: 10.45am, 26 September

Can you put Derek on the Tom Watson case from as soon as he is able. I'll get someone starting to dig into her background and will advise.

Mellor tells Mahmood to order Derek Webb to begin the surveillance on Watson as soon as possible.

Email 7

From: Mazher Mahmood
To: James Mellor
Time: 4.56pm, 26 September

Incidentally the girl involved is [redacted] the election. She is in cutts with pic.

Several hours elapse and Mahmood, apparently pleased with the response from the newsdesk, talks up the Watson story again, referencing the political standing of the woman with whom he erroneously said Watson was having an affair. The phrase "she is in cutts with pic" is a reference to previous newspaper stories about the woman and that there is a picture of her in existence - which the paper could use to illustrate the "Labour sex scandal".

Email 8

From: Mazher Mahmood
To: Ian Edmondson
Time: 12.39pm, 28 September

Any thoughts on how we can track down Watson/ [redacted]? Should we seek help from politics? Incidentally the [redacted] investigation seems to be going well. [redacted] is pals with him. I suggested he says he is a chsuffeur (sic) to an Indian businessman who is a huge [redacted] fan. That would lead to meet with him/drugs/meet with [redacted]/tour of the ground etc. wdyt?

At lunchtime on Monday, having been instructed to commission Webb, Mahmood wonders what else can be done, asking: "Any thoughts on how we can track down Watson?" He wonders whether he should ask the News of the World's political team for help in locating Watson. He then discusses another story, which appears to be something of a fishing expedition, referring to "meet with him/drugs/meet with [redacted by News International]/tour of the ground etc..."

Email 9

From: Ian Edmondson
To: Mazher Mahmood
Time: 1.15pm, 28 September

Will call in half an hour, just up to my eyeballs in another story which I was going to mention to you.

Edmondson is too busy to respond but says he will call shortly.

Email 10

From: Mazher Mahmood
To: Ian Edmondson
Time: 1.33pm, 28 September

Derek en-route to Brighton. I'm going down with Conrad now. Hoping to get [redacted] hotel info from informant.

Mahmood confirms that Derek Webb is heading down to the Labour Party conference in Brighton to tail Watson. Mahmood is also "going down with Conrad" – probably a photographer. Mahmood is hoping his informant will furnish him with the hotel of the female politician.

Webb duly follows Watson for the duration of the Labour Party Conference. The tip, however, is false and the News of the World does not publish any story.

The Independent has redacted parts of these emails to protect the privacy of the woman involved.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
news
Sport
footballLive! Chelsea vs West Ham kicked off 10 Boxing Day matches, with Arsenal vs QPR closing the action
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
Sport
football
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Ashdown Group: Brand Marketing Manager - Essex - £45,000 + £5000 car allowance

£40000 - £45000 per annum + car allowance: Ashdown Group: Senior Brand Manager...

Guru Careers: .NET Developer /.NET Software Developer

£26 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking a .NET Developer /.NET Software ...

Guru Careers: Graduate Marketing Analyst / Online Marketing Exec (SEO / PPC)

£18 - 24k (DOE): Guru Careers: A Graduate Marketing Analyst / Online Marketing...

Guru Careers: Technical Operations Manager

£Neg. (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Technical Ope...

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all