Piers Morgan lied to the Leveson Inquiry (20 12 2011) when he claimed he had never illicitly received information from the police when Mirror editor. I can say this categorically because he admitted doing so in a letter to the PCC in 1997 when he wrote “”The police source of our article (whose identity we have a moral obligation to protect) gave us the detail of the letters that we then published”. Had the information been given to the Mirror legitimately there would have been no reason not to divulge the informant’s name because the only way information can legitimately be given to the media by the police is if it is done on an attributable basis. As Morgan’s evidence was taken under oath he has committed the crime of perjury.
Here is the full text of the letter with my comments interpolated in the square brackets marked RH:
FROM THE EDITOR
By fax (0171-353 8355) & by post
16 October 1997
Your ref: 970738
Christopher Hayes Esq
Press Complaints Commission
I Salisbury Square
Dear Mr Hayes
Mr Robert Henderson
I refer to Mr Henderson’s complaint as outlined in his letter of 23 September.
As you are aware, we have been in contact with Mr Henderson for some time due to his propensity to bombard individuals and this office with correspondence. [RH Translation: Mr Henderson sent more than one letter because the Mirror refused to reply].
There are certain irrefutable facts that escape emphasis in Mr Henderson’s correspondence.
Far from ignoring any of his correspondence we have written to him on the 20 May, 22 July and 6 August. [RH The letter of 20 May merely said he was not going to enter into correspondence. The other two letters were from his legal department in response to Subject Access Requests I made under the Data Protection Act]. We have consistently made it clear that we have no intention of entering into any further correspondence with him.
Be that as it may I will address his concerns:-
In essence, the basic “sting” of the article, of which he complains, was that he had been sending numerous insulting letters, some with racist undertones, to Mr and Mrs Blair which had been passed to the Crown Prosecution Service for consideration.
Mr Henderson himself admits that he sent Mr and Mrs Blair at least thirteen letters. I have no way of directly knowing of the content of those letters because I have not had sight of them. However, clearly they sufficiently concerned Mr Blair’s office to be passed to the Crown
Prosecution Service [RH The CPS said as soon as they saw the letters that they were entirely legal] and I think the Commission is perfectly entitled to draw an adverse inference on the contents of those letters as a result of that referral.
I cannot accept Mr Henderson’s explanation for writing to Cherie Blair. To do so was clearly designed to intimidate. [RH I wrote to her to ask for her help in her capacity as a human rights lawyer and as Blair's wife]
In Mr Henderson’s draft article “Moral Simpletons Target Innocent Man” the bile that he shows on the second page of that article clearly illustrates his capacity to insult in his letters to Mr and Mrs Blair [RH an absurd deduction. What I wrote to the Mirror says nothing about what I wrote to the Blairs] (to the extent that they be referred to the Crown Prosecution Service). I would also refer the Commission to Mr Henderson’s gratuitous reference to a “Blaireich”.
He also admits to expressing his disgust (we can only guess in what terms) of the decision of Mr and Mrs Blair not to send their son to a school whereby a white schoolboy was, apparently, murdered by five other boys (and that that murder was racially motivated). [RH This was the Richard Everitt murder].
The police source of our article (whose identity we have a moral obligation to protect) [RH thus the police informant behaved illegally by supplying the information] gave us the detail of the letters that we then published. Nothing that Mr Henderson writes has convinced me that the article was anything other than accurate.
Perhaps one can get a flavour of his correspondence with Mr and Mrs Blair by examining the final sentence of his draft article in which he states “It was a cargo of ancient male gonads”.
The Commission may be aware (I am attempting to get hold of the article) that the article of Mr Henderson’s that appeared in Wisden’s Cricket Monthly in 1995 gave rise to an extraordinary amount of controversy and resulted in Wisden paying substantial libel damages to the Cricketer, Devon Malcolm, whom the Commission will be aware is a coloured fast bowler for England. As I understand the matter, and Mr Henderson will correct me if I am wrong, the article implied that coloured players will not try as hard when playing for England as white players. [RH The article put it forward as a possibility, no more].
I have discussed the legal position with the newspaper’s solicitor, Martin Cruddace [Cruddace is a proven liar. He made a declaration to my Subject Access Request under the Data Protection Act to the effect that the Mirror held no qualifying documents. Eventually after I had done some detective work, he had to admit that the Mirror had a small matter of 118 pages of documents relating to me], and he has assured me that the law has recently developed whereby words (be they written or spoken) can constitute assault if the pattern of those words is such as to make the recipient of them either anxious or ill. It has developed as a reaction to the former impotence of the law on stalking. [RH: No person in the UK has been convicted of such a crime. The definition of GBH has been extended to non-physical abuse such as abusive phone calls but it requires a psychiatric illness to be proved to be caused by the alleged abusive behaviour. Mere emotions such as fear do not qualify. The failure of the police to consider such a course and the CPS’ immediate definition of the case as “NO CRIME” shows that my letters were entirely lawful] .The law has therefore developed since the publication of the dictionary reference on which Mr Henderson relies.
I cannot accept that the taking of the photographs of Mr Henderson, given the clear public interest concerning the subject matter of The Mirror article, could possibly constitute harassment under the Code.[RH it was an unequivocal offence because the photographer took the photograph within my property].
I am most concerned not to waste any further time in dealing with Mr Henderson’s complaint but, naturally, if the Commission wishes me to address any further matters then I will endeavour to do so.
However, I hope that the above is sufficient to convince the Commission that the basic “sting” of the article is accurate and that Mr Henderson’s complaint ought to be dismissed.
I obtained the letter from the PCC after I made a complaint against the Mirror following their publication of extraordinarily libellous story about me. The details of that episode can be found at http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2011/04/17/the-failure-to-charge-piers-morgan-with-illicitly-receiving-information-from-the-police/
The Leveson Inquiry has had a copy of the letter for a month together with my submission relating to it and other matters. The text of my submission to the Leveson Inquiry is at http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2011/11/25/the-leveson-inquiry-the-blairs-the-mirror-the-police-and-me/ . The fact that Leveson refused to confront Morgan with the letter and the failure to call me as a witness despite the startling evidence I had provided to them is clear evidence that the Inquiry will not be pressing the mainstream media hard. At worst it will be no more than a Government PR exercise.
The recording of Morgan’s evidence can be found at http://www.levesoninquiry.org.uk/hearing/2011-12-20pm/ Enter the recording at 74 minutes.
The questioning of Morgan about receiving information illicitly from the police is between 138 minutes and 142 minutes.
A transcript of Morgan’s evidence is at
Morgan’s response to questions about receiving information illicitly from the police begins at line 20 of page 86. It starts
. 20 Q. Okay. Can I ask you, please, about paying police
21 officers. Is that something which happened at the
22 Daily Mirror whilst you were editor?
23 A. I have no reason to believe so, no.
24 Q. Are you saying by that that it was not brought to your
1 A. I’ve never been made aware of any evidence for that at
Morgan’s manner ranged from relatively relaxed (although he was tense throughout in my judgement) when the questions were undemanding to variously withdrawn or bombastic when they became demanding. He was withdrawn while the questions shown above were being asked.
The other matters which seriously troubled him were his share dealings with Viglen (Morgan bought £67,000 worth of shares shortly before the Mirror share tipsters tipped the company) – enter recording at 133 minutes; listening to a phone mail recording of Heather Mill and Paul McCartney when their marriage hit the rocks – Morgan refused to give any details of how the recording was obtained – enter recording at 112 minutes and the evidence of Stephen Knott (a Welsh lorry driver) who brought the story of how mobile phones could be hacked to the Mirror in 1998. According to Knott, the story was at first enthusiastically received by the Mirror in the shape of Oonagh Blackman (special projects editor) before being then dropped without warning - enter the recording at 164 minutes. Morgan denied any knowledge of the story and was reduced rapidly to trying to dismiss Knott as “barking”.
Knott has given evidence before the Inquiry see http://www.levesoninquiry.org.uk/hearing/2011-12-06am/ for the recording and http://www.levesoninquiry.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Transcript-of-Morning-Hearing-6-December-20111.txt .
Apart from Morgan’s lie to the Levenson Inquiry, there is a tremendous story of political misbehaviour which surrounds it