An MSP has claimed that her phone was hacked by a private investigator working for the News of the World.
Joan McAlpine, who represents South of Scotland for the SNP, revealed that police approached her several months ago to break the news.
Writing in her newspaper column, Ms McAlpine said she was left “sickened” and feeling “violated” by the discovery.
She wrote: “When Strathclyde Police called me to say they thought my phone had been hacked, my first thought was for my family. Did some sleazy hack listen to messages from my teenage daughter? I felt more sickened when the detective showed me a copy of a private investigator’s notebook, containing not just my mobile, but my home number and address.
“I am not the grieving parent of a dead soldier or murder victim such as Milly Dowler. I wouldn’t dream of comparing my situation to their suffering. Nevertheless, it is extremely unpleasant. You feel violated, as though your home has been broken into. It preys on your mind. Were they watching the house when my girls came home from school? Did they have cameras trained on their bedrooms?”
Ms McAlpine has since sought legal advice.
She added: “Police broke the news a couple of month ago and, after meeting them, it was agreed that my phone must have been accessed as they had a friend’s number. I have since approached a solicitor.”
The former journalist was once employed at News International as features editor and columnist at the Sunday Times Scotland, where she edited the Ecosse section.
She continued: “I have particular reason to be outraged at the phone hacking, as I once worked for News International at the Sunday Times. I never came across anything illegal when I was there – nor indeed throughout my long career in journalism. It makes me angry that a few bad apples are damaging a whole profession, which is essential in a democratic society.”
Ms McAlpine is the latest in a series of victims of illegal media practices. On Sunday, it emerged that former First Minister Jack McConnell’s phone was accessed by the now-defunct tabloid.