Morgan is one of the most important members of the cast of the phone hacking scandal. He was the first of a long line of Murdoch editors forged in the crucible of the Sun’s show business column “Bizarre”. One of his proteges was Andy Coulson.
Morgan was singled out by Sun editor Kelvin Mackenzie as a future editor and it was his patronage that led to his appointment as News of the World editor at the age of 29. There Morgan singled out a young reporter and promoted her to Features Editor: her name was Rebekah Brooks. Morgan was destined to edit the Sun but when Daily Mirror boss David Montgomery — a former News of the World editor — offered him the editorship of the Mirror, Morgan accepted.
By 2003, the troika of Morgan (Mirror), Coulson (News of the World) and Brooks (The Sun) had an iron grip on Britain’s tabloids. Morgan was at the Mirror for nearly ten years — a decade that saw the paper embrace the “dark arts” of illegal news-gathering.
The plan is to produce a readable, balanced picture of a talented but flawed individual.
I’m a retired television producer so I don’t need to be paid for my time.
But researching, writing and publishing a book as ambitious as this one does not come cheap, especially since it needs to be read for libel.
Last month’s civil ruling about Mirror Group phone hacking has revealed valuable new information about the industrial scale of voice mail interception at the newspaper group, and following some forensic leads, Paddy French at the Press Gang has begun to put a picture together of the industrial levels of intrusion into personal records commissioned by the Mirror Group.
The whole account ought to be read in full because it proves phone hacking was the more innocuous tip of a much darker iceberg, and once again explains how central Southern Investigations was to the corruption of Fleet Street: as a senior police officer once told me “without doubt the cradle where the dark arts were born.”
The following extract shows that, like News of the World, the Mirror Group were not only tracking celebrities but also political targets. Continue reading →
The Press Gang have another exclusive on the Mirror Group’s involvement in the dark arts, which has recently been exposed in ongoing civil cases into phone hacking.
But as I’ve discovered over the past few years, phone hacking is only the more benign tip of a much larger murkier iceberg of illegal story gathering, surveillance, burglary and police bribes, which ultimately leads back to the Murder of Daniel Morgan.
Not so long ago, at a press event with Alastair Morgan, a senior Mirror journalist said they could never cover Daniel’s murder and the police cover-up for “political reasons.”
There’s a political reason a major newspaper group can’t cover the most investigated unsolved murder in British criminal history?
It’s not widely realised that the first big investigation into corrupt private investigators, police officers and the press, was Operation Nigeria (which morphed into Operation Two Bridges) in 1999, seven years before the first phone hacking inquiry. That investigation specifically looked at two senior named News of the WorldJournalists.
But as Paddy French, who has indefatigably stood up details from this era in his Press Gang site reports today, it wasn’t just the News of the World which was compromised by the ‘No 1 Corrupt Detectives Agency’. The Mirror Group were involved as well. This partly explains why – as Alastair Morgan was told by a Mirror journalist very recently – the story of his brother’s murder is ‘too political’ for the Mirror Group to cover.
Some new details from Jim Cusick at the Independent about the civil phone hacking cases involving the Trinity Mirror group.
The company has also been co-operating with the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Golding, by handing over evidence that could be connected to potential wrong-doing. Among the material given to the Met, and subsequently disclosed to victims’ lawyers, is a bundle of 22 emails, a cache of 587 calls from MGN landlines, and 51 invoices from private investigators which relate to four hacking claims.
One internal email sent by an MGN journalist to a colleague in March 2002 concerns information on the relationship between two former EastEnders actors, Lucy Benjamin and Steve McFadden. The two were in an off-screen relationship at that time.