The Daily Mail receives between 300 and 400 pictures of Pippa Middleton a day, according to the paper’s long-serving picture editor Paul Silva.
But Silva told the Leveson Inquiry this morning that the Mail does not use the pictures because ‘there’s no reason to photograph her when she’s out and about doing her own thing”.
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Silva, who has worked at the Mail for 23 years, believes the same policy applies at other national newspapers, adding: ‘Her just coming out of her door every day, there’s no reason to use that.”
He denied Middleton was given special treatment, however, and said the same policy applied to all celebrities and public figures.
In April the Press Complaints Commission issued a warning to newspaper editors over alleged “harassment and pursuit” of Kate Middleton’s family by journalists, after her mother Carole and sister were photographed in recent days out shopping in London.
Earlier in his evidence this morning, Silva was quizzed on how the paper decides whether a particular photograph is in breach of privacy.
Once a celebrity was ‘on a public street, that’s a public space”, he said, claiming that during his time at the Mail he could not recall an occasion when someone had complained about a photo being taken in the street.
When he first started at the Mail the paper did not ask any questions about the source of a picture, he said, but it now has a set list of questions it asks agencies and freelance photographers.
The list was drawn up around four years ago so that Silva could be ‘satisfied the pictures I put forward for publication were taken in a proper way”, and in the past few years he had received only a ‘handful of complaints”, he claimed.
He told the counsel to the inquiry, Robert Jay QC, that the Mail’s policy was to pixelate images of celebrities’ children when they are photographed in public – but he was then shown pictures from the Daily Mail of David Beckham’s children unpixelated.
‘There’s never, ever been a complaint as far as I’m aware,” he replied.
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