When his inquiry gets going in the next month, Lord Justice Leveson will have the power to call witnesses and question them under oath. Guido expects him to interview current and former tabloid figures. Those who have been at the heart of the Sun, News of the World and the Mirror, or all of them. People like Piers Morgan.
Though Louise Mensch gave Morgan a slight get out clause last night by misquoting his book, the allegations she levelled at him are still valid. He did write about the theory and he has been accused by former colleagues of putting it into practice to break the Sven and Ulrika story. While Morgan can bluster from the comfort of CNN, will he be so gobby in front of a judge? There is only one way to find out.
His expertise in the field is rivalled by very few, so his evidence to Leveson is key. Lets just take a few things he has said in the past. In 2003 Morgan told the Culture Media and Sport Select Committee:
“I think, the working practices of a daily tabloid newspaper, of actually what goes on, you need to understand… in my view, there is very little difference now between the way the tabloids operate and the broadsheet newspapers.”
And what tactics were used in those operations?
In the same year that phone-hacking was rife on Fleet Street Morgan said:
“I have never known standards to be higher than they are today, particularly in relation to how we deal with ordinary people. I have never known it better.”
Perhaps he could expand on that a little, given what we now know?
He conceded “the problem is that if we slip up it becomes huge news.” He found that one out the hard way a couple of years later…