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.
Before Panorama airs at 7.30 tonight, after two delays, it might be worth looking at the background of MazHer Mahmood, aka the Fake Sheikh, at News of the World under the editorship of Rebekah Brooks, from early 2000 to early 2003.
One of the first things Brooks did as editor of Britain’s best selling paper was to recall Greg Miskiw from New York, where he had set up office, and form an Investigations Team that worked outside both the Features and News Desk. From various bits of evidence show the floating membership from 2000 onwards to consist of:
Back in June, when Rebekah Brooks, Stuart Kuttner, Cheryl Carter and Mark Hanna were all acquitted at the phone hacking trial, their barristers made it clear they would be applying (as is their right) for a refund of their court costs. Already, at this point, it was clear that News UK would have to be party to these hearings on costs, since they had indemnified all the cleared defendants bar Charlie Brooks. The initial quantum for that claim was reported to be £25 million in legal costs. This was reduced two weeks ago to £7 million by the Crown Prosecution Service on the basis of equivalent legal aid, rather than private, legal costings. Continue reading →
1. Daniel Evans is to be sentenced on 4 counts. He worked as a reporter at the Sunday Mirror from 2003 to 2005 and then at the News of the World from 2005 until 2011 when the paper closed. He has admitted phone hacking to get stories at both newspapers. His phone hacking activities at the News of the World stopped almost entirely in August 2006 when Clive Goodman was arrested. In 2009 he did hack the phone of Kelly Hoppen which led to her taking out a civil action. In those proceedings he made a statement denying hacking Kelly Hoppen’s phone. That was a lie as he has admitted. That is count 4 on the indictment. He has also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office (count 3) by paying a prison officer to provide information about Ian Huntley and paying a police officer for information about a celebrity. In September 2010 the New York Times revealed his phone hacking activities and he was suspended by the News of the World and remained suspended until the paper closed.
Yesterdays intervention by David Cameron after the guilty verdict for Coulson on Count One of phone hacking nearly derailed the whole trial. As soon as the verdict was in Coulson”s QC, Timothy Langdale, called the Attorney General to warn him any comments could be in contempt of court, because the jury were still deliberating on two more counts.
The Attorney General was with the Prime Minister at the time, but told him that Cameron had already filmed his apology, and it was too late to stop the statement going out. This morning both counsel for Goodman and Coulson applied to discharge the current jury because of the prejudicial comment about separate facts that were not in evidence.