Couldn’t happen to a nicer chap…
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:
So heart-warming that everyone in UK's missing me so much they want me to come home. #swoon
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) August 4, 2011
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…
The Dowler family’s omni-present solicitor Mark Lewis suggests that four cases concerning phone-hacking have been filed against the Mirror. Uh oh, Piersy…
The Wall Street Journal say that Morgan was quizzed thoroughly about his past before he got the CNN gig, though there is speculation that this had more to do with those fake-Iraqi torture photos. Sources at the network have said there is an “ongoing conversation” about the allegations that rather than disappear, keep coming. That’s a shift from full confidence…
It may be “all a bit awkward”, because they know each other socially, but that hasn’t stopped another of Sven Goran Eriksson’s lovers, Nancy Dell’Olio, from going after Morgan. LibDem MP Paul Marsden is thought to be another case. As Guido highlighted last week, Sir Paul McCartney might want to get the ball rolling too. Rumour has it Pier’s has lawyered up for what looks set to be a rough few months…
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Gyles Brandreth writes in his memoirs:
“Sunday, May 10, 1998
Early start: appearing on Breakfast With Frost, to be broadcast from 11 Downing Street. The Chancellor [Gordon Brown] is grouchily amiable, but so earnest — and still biting his fingernails to the quick.
After the show, he took us upstairs to his flat. He lives above No 10, while Blair and family are in the No 11 duplex, which is bigger and more like a proper house.
I was intrigued that, when he took us into his bedroom, the Chancellor rather ostentatiously opened the built-in wardrobes, as if he wanted us to see the women’s frocks that were hanging in there.
They looked quite large, but I don’t think they belong to Gordon. I assume they belong to his girlfriend [Sarah Macaulay, who he later married].
I presume he was keen for us to know that he has one — and that she’s not a ‘beard’. I don’t think he does anything without calculation.”