When Tom Watson Used the Screws to Do Over Enemies

There’s a gentle slap for Tom Watson in McBride’s book. Discussing the 2007 Ealing by-election which was turned into a total cluster for the Tories after it was revealed their candidate Tony Lit was photographed with Tony Blair and gave a donation to the party, McBride explains how he got the story out there:

“I managed to get that photo onto almost every broadsheet front page and on page 2 of every tabloid. That said, given later events, it’s interesting to note that Tom and I almost fell out over the distribution of the photo, since he thought it should be an exclusive for the News of the World.”

He keeps quiet about his close relationship with the newspaper’s political editor these days…

Mirror Man Dan Evans Charged

Former Mirror and News of the World hack Dan Evans has been charged with two counts of conspiracy to hack phones, perverting the course of justice and conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office. Evans worked at the paper’s Sunday operation under Tina Weaver before moving to the Screws in 2005. He has been awaiting a decision for two years…

UPDATE: Crucially, the the hacking charges relate to Evans’ time at the Mirror, not the News of the World.

NotW’s Maggie Tribute

20130417-084241.jpg

Click above to read the Screws’ 16-page pull out Maggie tribute they had prepared in the event of her death. Only for her to outlive them.

Via @DavidWooding

CPS Will Not Charge Neil Wallis

After two years on police bail the former deputy editor of the Screws will not be charged.

The CPS cite “insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction”. The Wolfman is free…

Former Screws Political Editor Turns Lobbyist

Ex-Screws political editor Ian Kirby is off into the world of lobbying. Kirby has joined MHP Communications as a director to develop new campaigns and advise on media strategy. His experience of changing Gordon Brown’s kids nappies should set him up nicely. The move was announced with a lovely picture of a young looking Ian and an old friend…

Ian “Psycho” Edmondson Goes to Loaded

Great Standard scoop that the former Screws News Editor Ian Edmondson is off to edit lads mag Loaded. With the mag’s circulation plummeting, this looks like a risky last roll of the dice. The thunderous hack says he wants to restore the mag to it’s “glory days” with a “bad boy” image. Given he’s still on bail, the latter shouldn’t be too hard. All good publicity…

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Former Screws political editor Ian Kirby updates Facebook status

“Is astonished. I never knew there were two Alastair Campbells. The one I know told me Peter Mandelson was insane, but insisted I used it anonymously, persuaded Tony Blair to change the law in response to News of the World campaigns, spent years trying to befriend the Daily Mail and invented the claim that Sir John Major wore his shirt tucked in his underpants. He also encouraged me and Andy Coulson to ask Tony Blair if he and Cherie were in the Mile High Club to make a good headline. I’m worried that AC has been kidnapped and no-one noticed.”

News of the World Hacked Thatcher Phone Calls
Guardian Used Same Private Detectives as News of the World

A Guido co-conspirator, Jon Dell, spotted this line in an old copy of Campaign!: Selling of the Prime Minister by Rodney Tyler published back in 1987. Bugging Thatcher of course wouldn’t have bothered the Guardian, it would have been “in the public interest”. As they define it…

Currently The Guardian’s David Leigh is on his high horse with Guido, claiming we’re spreading malicious lies about him. So just to reiterate, last month in a telephone interview (July, 6) Guido asked Leigh a number of questions about phone hacking, specifically related to his teaching course at City University. The day we spoke with him was the day of the News International debate in parliament. We intended to run the story on that day, which would no doubt have proved a little embarrassing for Leigh, as a counterpoint. He gave an absolute denial as to ever discussing phone hacking with his students, we didn’t run our story despite having two sources, because of the vehemence of his denial. A denial which turned out to be misleading.

In the days following Leigh attacked us on Twitter and his Guardian byline was on a made up claim, a “malicious lie” even, that we had got the Smeargate emails from News International. We were convinced we were right and Guido discussed with Guardian sources (a) our story (b) his denials. Guido also alluded to Leigh in a widely reported debate held by Polis at the LSE. Within a month evidence in Leigh’s own words emerged to completely contradict his previous blanket denial to us. The only way he could justify his denial to us is if it was an honest mistake and he had simply forgotten telling his students about phone hacking.

Instead he warns Guido by email “you’ll be sorry”, something we hear all the time. The Guardian has issued a statement,

‘The Guardian does not and has not authorised phone hacking.’

Are they claiming then that David Leigh is the lone rogue reporter, like news International said of Clive Goodman? Because Leigh admits:

I’ve used some of those questionable methods myself over the years. I, too, once listened to the mobile phone messages of a corrupt arms company executive – the crime similar to that for which Goodman now faces the prospect of jail. The trick was a simple one: the businessman in question had inadvertently left his pin code on a print-out and all that was needed was to dial straight into his voicemail.

There is certainly a voyeuristic thrill in hearing another person’s private messages… when I try to explain newspaper methods to my current university journalism students, and some of whom are rather shocked. There are other techniques I have used, along with the rest of Fleet Street. I did not turn up my nose when the notorious Benjy the Binman emptied a bag of stinking rubbish on to my carpet.

Leigh freely admits to using “deceptions, lies and stings” and that it was “hard to keep on the right side of legality on all occasions”, quite. Questions arise:

  • Should we be teaching the next generation of journalism students about phone hacking?
  • Is it right to make them aware of illegal methods to procure information?
  • Is the Guardian really in a position to be the self-appointed arbiter of media wrong doings?

Data from the Information Commissioner’s “Operation Motorman” shows that the Guardian Media Group paid tens of thousands of pounds to private detectives to illegally procure private information. The very same private detectives employed by News International…

UPDATE: According to m’learned friends there is no public interest defence for phone hacking, it is punishable with two years jail time.

Screws Hacked Missing Milly’s Mobile

The Guardian are reporting this afternoon that the News of the World hacked into Milly Dowler’s voicemail and deleted messages so that pending ones could come into her inbox. In other words they tampered with evidence in a police investigation […]

+ READ MORE +

+ + + Another Screws Hack Arrested + + +

Assistant News Editor James Weatherup was one of Coulson’s inner circle.

The old bill are expected to visit Wapping again today.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Screws Hacks in Cuffs

When the current Screws Chief Reporter Neville Thurlbeck turned up voluntarily for questioning at a London police station this morning he was swiftly arrested for conspiracy to tap into or hack mobile communications. According to the Guardian his house is […]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Charles Clarke says Cameron is the most successful PM for over a century…

“Under Margaret Thatcher the Conservatives gained 99 seats. They lost 211 under John Major, gained one under William Hague, quickly and wisely got rid of Ian Duncan-Smith, gained 32 under Michael Howard and have so far gained 133 under David Cameron who, to the great surprise of many (including senior Conservatives), has turned out to be the most electorally successful Tory leader since 1900.”

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