“Tea with Tony Blair at No. 10. He was yawning a lot and drinking endless cups of tea. I tried to wake him up a bit.”
The above is Piers Morgan’s own diary dated March 26, 1997, taken from his 2005 account of his days in newspaper journalism, The Insider: The Private Diaries of a Scandalous Decade. Those of you who are political insiders will realise that John Major, not Tony Blair, was in Downing Street in March 1997. Morgan just lies and lies. As this example shows, he isn’t even a good liar.
Nevertheless for some reason the DCMS select committee isn’t planning to recall Piers to explain his claims to them, in the light of subsequent evidence uncovered, that he cleaned up The Mirror and should be congratulated for the same. He claimed:
“If there are particular grievances about how the Daily Mirror has behaved, and I say that our record in this area is exemplary, exemplary. I don’t say this because we somehow got away with this, I say this because we operate the [PCC] Code of Practice effectively and seriously.”
Yet we have by his own written admissions the clear implication that under his editorship hacked voicemails from Sven-Göran Eriksson to Ulrika Jonsson as well as from Paul McCartney to Heather Mills were the basis of stories. Data from “Operation Motorman” also reveals that the Mirror Group paid private investigators some £442,878.73 to illegally procure personal data like tax records, DVLA records, medical and phone records. 65 invoices for criminal transactions can be traced back directly to Piers Morgan’s Daily Mirror during his time as editor, a time when he told the DCMS he should be “congratulated” for cleaning up the paper and operating the Press Complaints Commission’s Code of Practice “effectively and seriously”. His claims of exemplary behavior are not just an exaggeration by Piers, they are the exact opposite of the truth, he lied to the parliamentarians to their faces.
During the last hearings James Murdoch was asked if he was aware of the term “wilful blindness”, in not knowing or choosing not to know what was going on at the News of the World. The committee plans to recall him as a result. The ongoing failure of the DCMS Select Committee’s chairman John Whittingdale to recall the second most prominent procurer of blagging and hacking, besides Andy Coulson, is unfathomable. In fact it is bordering on “wilful blindness”…
UPDATE: DCMS Select Committee member Louise Mensch tweets in response:
Couldn’t happen to a nicer chap…
In a well-managed, gentle appearance on the Conan show, Piers Morgan has surfaced to try to shut down speculation about his involvement in phone-hacking. But once again he has managed to get his story muddled just by opening his mouth:
“Paul McCartney is apparently now claiming someone hacked his phone, I suspect it was Heather Mills because in the divorce, if you study the divorce papers, Paul McCartney accused Heather then of hacking into his phones and passing information to the papers.”
Morgan has previously admitted having a tape of the couple’s voicemails and he used the content of it to spice up a piece that he wrote for the Daily Mail in 2006. Morgan has sworn blind to the public, and to his new employers at CNN, that he never knowingly published a story based on phone-hacking. So how did Morgan publish this story about Sir Paul McCartney, without knowing where the content had come from?
The Chairman of the Culture Media and Sport Select Committee John Wittingdale has added to the pressure on Morgan:
“Teresa Coffey said he should come back to this country to answer questions and I think that is absolutely right. He certainly should.”
When your denials just don’t cut it, what would you do to handle the crisis? Probably not use the same tactic Morgan has deployed:
Guido’s not sure Morgan will get the last laugh…
As one of their most ardent cheerleaders in government and close personal friend of Gordon Brown, Piers Morgan might have thought he would be safe with his old red chums.
Tory Therese Coffey landed the CNN star in a whole host of trouble on Newsnight last night:
“I just hope that the police take the evidence and go with it and if Mr Morgan wants to come back to the UK and help them with their inquiries, and I don’t mean being arrested in any way, I’m sure he can add more light… I think it would help everybody, including himself and this investigation, if he was able to say more about why he wrote what he did in 2006.”
And now with this morning’s intervention from Labour’s Deputy Leader Harriet Harman Morgan’s denials are looking even weaker:
“[Morgan] said he heard a heartbreaking phone message which clearly gives rise to the assumption that he’d heard a tape recorded message. It’s not good enough fro him to say I’ve always complied with the law and the press complaints commission. He’s got to answer now we’ve got this allegation from Heather Mills.”
Piers is running out of friends fast…
The BBC’s Newsnight current affairs flagship show will tonight broadcast confirmation from Heather Mills of Guido’s story from July 27 re-posted below:
Yet another Piers Morgan phone-hacking implication has surfaced from his own misguided boasts. Writing in the Daily Mail in 2006 when Sir Paul McCartney split from Heather Mills, Morgan went into some extremely voyeuristic detail about their relationship:
“Stories soon emerged that the marriage was in trouble – at one stage I was played a tape of a message Paul had left for Heather on her mobile phone. It was heartbreaking. The couple had clearly had a tiff, Heather had fled to India, and Paul was pleading with her to come back. He sounded lonely, miserable and desperate, and even sang ‘We Can Work It Out’…”
Who played it to Piers? How did they get it? Did he procure the illegal interception of an electronic communication – an imprisonable offence - with a maximum two-year stretch on conviction? Looks like it to Guido.
How can Piers say he never authorised phone-hacking when he admits to listening to recordings of the voicemail of a distressed old man and his soon to be ex-wife? How can Piers say he never published anything on the back of phone hacking when he regaled this very story to the world in print under his own byline? Where was the public interest here?
It gets worse, Guido has been told Morgan played the recording out loud to the newsroom for fun. Laughing and mocking Macca’s misery.
In fact this is prima facie evidence of criminality on the part of Piers Morgan. We’re taking our dossier to the Metropolitan Police. Time for Piers Morgan to get a lawyer…
The blood is splattered across the pages of this week’s Private Eye. With an old grudge to settle, it’s no surprise to see Ian Hislop go out of his way to help out an old friend in his hour of need. The whole of the front page, the cartoons and a very special phone-hacking expose are all devoted to Morgan’s plight. Along with a round up of the story so far, and new details unearthed by mystical uncredited “bloggers”, yet another indiscreet discussion Piers Morgan had about his old paper’s dirty tricks surfaces:
So after a long lunch in September 2002, not only did Morgan regurgitate hacked phone messages to one of the victims, but he went on to lambast the Chief Exec of BT for not “providing better security pin numbers for mobile phones”. But of course Mr Morgan has never knowingly published any story from these means, he just uses his ill-gotten insider-knowledge for party pieces rather than selling papers…
Maggie and Mandela | Charles Moore
Mandela was Christ-Like | Peter Oborne
Maggie Personally Donated £20,000 to Mandela Foundation | Bono
Why Environmentalists Should Favour Fracking | CPS
Balls Gag Falls Flat | Asa Bennett
Mandela the Thatcherite | John Pilger
Balls’ Heckling Hypocrisy | Isabel Hardman
Gordon Dinner Raises Just $350 | Trending Central
Labour Need Darling to Replace Balls | Peter Oborne
Osborne Will Have to Push Harder Than This | Fraser Nelson
No, Cameron Did Not Make Hang Mandela Posters | Buzzfeed
Nelson Mandela on Margaret Thatcher, July 1990…
“She is an enemy of apartheid… We have much to thank her for.”