#Hackgate: Guido scores a hit, a very palpable hit… on Piers Morgan

Looks to me like Guido’s got one right in the back of the net… Piers Morgan, may not have been quite done in by his own words, but he has some serious questions to answer after Guido dug up this little number from the Daily Mail (who also claim they’ve never hacked anyone) in 2006:

“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’…”

So where’s the tippex Roy? Time to get rewriting that facimile memo for Trinity Mirror, for the first time at least…

  • pippakin

    I read this earlier. The above is not a ‘their eyes met etc. etc.’ piece of fiction. How dare anyone print such personal material about anyone however famous. To that end I’m delighted the light is now shifting to the other papers, there is a line I hope all the MSM will know better than to cross it again.

  • Jack2

    Mirror Grp have not yet been caught in a Milly Dowler type scandal so far but this is still very bad news for them.

    Murdoch could afford to toss a paper to the scrap heap, News Corp Market Cap is approx 30 Billion vs Mirror Grp of 113 million.

    What can the Mirror toss? How many payouts can they make?

    Piers Morgan is an odious self serving man, the Yanks may well put him on a plane back to us 🙁

  • With considerable respect, even Staines (by name, by nature) and his understrapper, Harry Cole (“Tory Bear”, who seems to be doing all the current heavy lifting) gave credit to last week’s Private Eye for the break.

    First there was an item under the traditional headline, “Just Fancy That!”:

    “I got back to the office to learn that Kate Winslet, having indicated she would come to our Pride of Britain awards tomorrow, is now saying she can’t. Someone had got hold of her mobile number — I never like to ask how — so I rang her …. ‘Hello,’ she said, sounding a bit taken aback. ‘How did you get my number? I’ve only just changed it. You’ve got to tell me, please, I am so worried now,’ ”
    Piers Morgan, 10 April 2000 diary entry in The Insider.

    The Eye immediately continued the column (page 9) with this:

    PIERS “Moron” Morgan is being uncharacteristically reticent in responding to demands from a number of MPs that he should appear before the judicial inquiry into phone-backing, “declining to comment” to journalists on both sides of tbe Atlantic who ask him about it and even managing to steer clear of the subject on Twitter.
    MPs are particularly keen that Moron, safely ensconced in New York as a CNN presenter, should explain how his paper obtained one story in particular.
    “The Daily Mirror. when under the auspices of Piers Morgan, is suspected of using voicemail interception to reveal Sven-Goran Eriksson’s affair with Ulrika Jonsson,” Lib Dem Adrian Sanders told the Commons on 7 July — perhaps after close reading of Eyes 1283 and 1284.
    But Moron has in fact already given an account of how he came by this particular scoop, albeit in his notoriously inaccurate 2005 book, The Insider. “Richard Wallace, my new news supremo, had flown into the office looking even more pleased with himself than usual, and I could tell from the wicked grin on his face that this was a big one,” he writes in an entry dated 18 April, 2002. “‘You’ll genuinely never guess who Ulrika’s having it away with now’ …”
    Richard Wallace could, then, presumably answer any questions about the provenance of the story which (although Moron credited him in neither his paper or his book) was brought in by reporter James Scott. In case MPs on the various committees looking into the phone-hacking scandal are unaware, Wallace is now in the eminently summonable position of editor of the Daily Mirror.
    In the meantime, Wallace’s employer, Trinity Mirror, has issued a statement regarding allegations that any of its staff might ever have engaged in phone-hacking: “Trinity Mirror’s position is clear. Our journalists work within the criminal law and the PCC code of conduct.”
    In that case it must have been by entirely legal and proper methods that in early 2003 Mirror came to be in possession of a transcript of a number of phonecalls made by recently-sacked Have I Got News For You presenter Angus Deayton.
    And likewise, on 19 October that same year, that it came to exclusively report full details of every phone call and text message made and received by footballer Rio Ferdinand during an afternoon he claimed his mobile had been switched off, causing him to miss a drugs test.
    That particular story was co-written by James Weatherup, who moved to the News of the World as news editor in 2004 and in April this year was arrested as part ofthe investigation into phone-hacking.

    I trust I’ve reproduced that as faithfully as these comment boxes allow.

  • andnowwhat

    According to Chris Bryant on Twitter, the Indo got in before guido

  • Mick Fealty

    Chris is retweeting Guido’s link to the Indo’s front page for tomorrow: http://t.co/CoGtCG

  • Pigeon Toes

    I’d say that’s definitely the smoking gun that Guido needed after all the earlier criticism today…

  • Jimmy Sands

    Morgan has denied hacking, ordering hacking or publishing stories based on hacking. Despite much frothing (and I admit to my surprise as much as anyone’s) no evidence of any of these has turned up. Guido has simply recycled two stories, one from the Daily Mail and one fro Private Eye, both of which involve Morgan having listened to confidential tapes but neither of them establishing that Morgan had any role in obtaining them. At the moment it’s simply a contest between two inveterate attention seekers. Guido has been running interference for NI ever since the story broke. It would be interesting to know why. Perhaps he feels there’s a Sun on Sunday column with his name on it.

  • The point isn’t that Piers Morgan listened to the tapes. It is that he published them, knowing that they had been illegally obtained: and even boasted of humiliating a victim by phoning her on her new number. When Jonathan Ross did that he was sacked.