Fleet Street’s famous ‘fake sheikh’ Mazher Mahmood has moved back into red top journalism, leaving The Sunday Times for sister title The Sun Sunday.
Mahmood made his name on the News of the World (NoW) with a series of often controversial stings, with targets including former England boss Sven Goran-Eriksson and ex-boxing champion Joe Calzaghe.
News International confirmed the move last week and on Sunday Mahmood's first story appeared in the paper – a front page expose on former boxing champion Herbie Hide.
NI declined to comment on the appointment, which coincides with the departure of Sunday Times editor John Witherow to take up the same role at The Times.
Mahmood joined The Sunday Times shortly after the NoW was closed in July 2011. In November that year Witherow was forced to defend the appointment in the face of questioning from a Parliamentary committee on privacy and injunctions.
His first story in The Sunday Times was published on 31 October when an undercover investigation into an accident claims firm saw five people arrested.
Mahmood was again the centre of controversy in August 2012 when lawyers acting for NI only found evidence to back up 134 of his 253 successful criminal prosecutions.