David Leigh, The Guardian's Hacker-in-Chief, Lied to Guido

It will be established over the coming months that the Guardian, far from being whiter-than-white, is as guilty as others of phone hacking. It has emerged, in the style of Piers Morgan, that David Leigh admitted to “voyeuristically” phone hacking. On July 6 this year Guido spoke to him directly and put specific allegations to Leigh that he taught a new generation of journalists, journalism students at City University, about phone hacking. He gave an angry blanket denial of the allegations – which were double sourced – so vehement were his denials that despite the double sourcing Guido held back on publication. In an effort to stand-up the story we sought a third source to no avail. Until today.

After Guido quizzed David Leigh, he had a go at us in the Guardian a few days later, claiming bizarrely that Guido’s source for Damian McBride’s Smeargate emails was News International. He also attacked us in a number of tweets for good measure.  All of which made us even more sure that we were on to something. As we said at the time:

It has now emerged that in 2006 David Leigh admitted in the pages of the Guardian, when hacking was less controversial, that he did it and just as we claimed, he taught his students about it.

There is certainly a voyeuristic thrill in hearing another person’s private messages… unlike the News of the World, I was not paying a private detective to routinely help me with circulation-boosting snippets. That is my defence, when I try to explain newspaper methods to my current university journalism students, and some of whom are rather shocked. 

David Leigh lied to Guido when we put this very allegation to him, he then thrashed about trying to tie us into News International’s sins and even uncharitably called neo-Guido a “clown”.

We’re laughing now.

Anyway, let bygones be bygones, David Leigh is on holiday at the moment, so Guido has emailed asking for an explanation:

David,

When we spoke on the afternoon of July 6th I asked you bluntly “Did you teach your students how to hack phones?” you said “No”.

When I asked “Not even in the context of a discussion about the ethics of hacking?” You said “absolutely not”.

When I said “Why do two sources tell me otherwise?” You said “You have your answer, I am watching the debate” and put the phone down.

Now it transpires that in 2006 you wrote in an article justifying your phone hacking that “I try to explain newspaper methods to my current university journalism students”, exactly the allegation I put to you.

So you brazenly lied to me in response to direct questions. Why?

You then wrote an article which suggested that my source for the Damian McBride emails was News International, which anyone with any sense would realise was a nonsense, journalists not being in the habit of giving hot stories to bloggers who then pass them on to rival newspapers. Why?

Perhaps, on his return, after examining his conscience, he may even consider an apology…




Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

John McDonnell does a funny:

“I’m told there are a group of KGB colonels who are suing The Sun for associating themselves with us.”

Sponsors

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.
Camilla Tominey on Labour’s Smears Hypocrisy Camilla Tominey on Labour’s Smears Hypocrisy
Dugher vs Skwawkbox Dugher vs Skwawkbox
Remembering the STB Remembering the STB
Even Remainers Think BBC Is Anti-Brexit Even Remainers Think BBC Is Anti-Brexit
Millions of Students Affected by Lecturers Strike Millions of Students Affected by Lecturers Strike
Corbyn Considering Backing Customs Union Corbyn Considering Backing Customs Union
CIA Files Reveal US Spies Kept Tabs on Corbyn CIA Files Reveal US Spies Kept Tabs on Corbyn
Cabinet Sub-Committee Committed to Divergence and Taking Back Control of Laws Cabinet Sub-Committee Committed to Divergence and Taking Back Control of Laws
Stasi Files: Corbyn’s Peace Group Infiltrated by Spies Stasi Files: Corbyn’s Peace Group Infiltrated by Spies
Boris on Corbyn’s “B*llocks” Boris on Corbyn’s “B*llocks”
Read: Stasi File on Labour Party Read: Stasi File on Labour Party
LISTEN: Labour MPs Knowingly Meet Foreign Spies Every Day LISTEN: Labour MPs Knowingly Meet Foreign Spies Every Day
BBC Website Finally Reports Corbyn Spy Story… And Attacks “Press Barons” BBC Website Finally Reports Corbyn Spy Story… And Attacks “Press Barons”
Tory ERG MPs Remind May of Her Commitment to Take Back Control of Laws and Trade Tory ERG MPs Remind May of Her Commitment to Take Back Control of Laws and Trade
Aaronovitch Talking S*it Aaronovitch Talking S*it
Live In Truth: Corbyn vs Havel Live In Truth: Corbyn vs Havel
Watson Now Opposes Airing Lurid Historic Claims Against MPs Watson Now Opposes Airing Lurid Historic Claims Against MPs
Green: I Wasn’t Inappropriate to Kate Maltby Green: I Wasn’t Inappropriate to Kate Maltby
Geoff Norcott Drives Corbynistas Crazy Geoff Norcott Drives Corbynistas Crazy
BuzzFeed Runners and Riders BuzzFeed Runners and Riders