“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: