A former News of the World reporter who famously clashed with Hugh Grant is standing for council election as a UKIP candidate, it emerged today.
Paul McMullan, 45, nicknamed ‘Mucky McMullan’, had a public bust-up with Grant after the actor secretly recorded him spilling the beans on tapping phones.
He has since become a press officer for UKIP and is now being fielded as a candidate for UKIP for Dover and Deal in the Kent County Council elections on May 2.
McMullan says he was inspired to put himself forward after his 80-year-old mother, who likes making jam, was banned from re-using jam jars by a new law from Europe.
He said: “There has to come a time when enough is enough.
“The fact that 300 people who get paid £90,000 a year can come up with that law, costing millions to implement, is a complete waste.
“I believe I can win in Dover. I think the protest vote will continue to that election.
“I am not anti-European. Part of my business is running a youth hostel and at the moment I have French, German, American and Australian people staying here.
“They all come to experience British culture at its best and to stay in an historic British inn.”
The pub owner says he was also encouraged by watching Diane James, the UKIP candidate who beat the Tory candidate in the Eastleigh by-election, on BBC Question Time.
McMullan was a whistleblower on the phone hacking scandal and featured in the Guardian and channel 4’s Dispatches programme.
But he revealed more than he intended when Hugh Grant secretly recorded an interview with him in revenge for the journo papping him when he broke down in Kent in 2010.
McMullan told of the close relationship between former Sun editor Rebecca Brookes and prime minister David Cameron – revealing their horse riding trips.
McMullan worked at the now-defunct News of the World between 1994 and 2001 and was deputy features editor in 2000.
He had previously worked at the Sunday Sport.
McMullan bought the Castle Inn and backpackers hostel in Dover, Kent, two and a half years ago and has invested £200,000 in it.