HACKGATE DAY 198: Does Piers long for those days when he really was The Insider?


Morgan’s narrow escape from insider trading charges is yet another cloud from his dubious past

It occurred to me last night that there are millions of Americans who don’t know anything like as much about Romping Arse Piers Morgan as we unlucky souls over here do. So as The Slog gets 15% of its readership from the US of A, this article is primarily targeted towards those folks. However, there may also be lots of you in the UK who, either through memory loss or being incredibly young, may not know the full story of those clouds forever hanging over Arse Rim Pong.

The irony of the title of Morgan’s first book is that, at one point in 2005, he was very much accused of being an insider. James Hipwell (the man who last week told the Independent that the idea of Morgan having “never knowingly published a story based on phone-hacking” was “inconceivable”) has been made to look ‘dodgy’ as a witness is his former employer’s tweets – the very same Piers Morgan. This is because in 2006, the whistleblower Hipwell was convicted of tipping shares in his Mirror column, while also buying them. (The offences occurred in 2000, for which Hipwell was fired).

As usual, however, Moron’s stance on this is very misleading. And tends to leave his own role in the scandal out.

For when he was Mirror editor, Piers Morgan “encouraged” his City columnists to buy and sell shares themselves, James Hipwell claimed in court at the time.  The share tipster said he had been “very open” about his own share dealings and that no one at the paper had ever suggested he was doing anything wrong. Asked under oath whether Mr Morgan knew what he was doing, Mr Hipwell replied: “Yes, he did. I made no secret that was what I did, I was encouraged to do so.” In fact, Hipwell told the jury that his former editor Morgan had used the analogy of someone who had “never been in a car trying to teach someone else to drive” as his rationale for why the paper’s City tipsters should trade in shares themselves.

When the MGN high-ups found out what was going on, Hipwell was given the boot: but as you’d expect of the MGN management, the police were not called in. More grubby stuff  then came to light. Morgan was dragged into the scandal because he had bought £20,000 of shares in Viglen, a technology company owned by Sir Alan Sugar, one day before it was tipped by the Hipwell column. His shares doubled in value when the company announced it was moving to set up an internet business. Morgan insisted that this – let’s not beat about the bush here – insider trading – was “a coincidence”. As a defence, it’s right up there with Newscorp phones accidentally going off in pockets 37 times….and then accessing celeb voicemails. But astonishingly, an internal MGN ‘inquiry’ cleared Morgan of any wrong doing.

The Daily Mirror was then quite rightly accused of a harbouring a “cavalier culture” by the Press Complaints Commission, following which CNN host Piers Morgan, upright defender of his innocence against the groundless attacks of lying smearers, was forced to apologise.

What I’d like Piers to do now is tell us all this:

1. If he was innocent, why did he apologise to the PCC?

2. Did he ever contest Hipwell’s evidence? I can’t find anything saying he did: but if he didn’t, why not?

3. How come – as with the now arrested and charged Andy Coulson – everyone saw and heard Piers doing one thing, but he and he alone insists another thing happened…or it’s all made up? He serenaded the Mirror newsroom using facts that could only have come from hacking Paul McCartney’s phone. He was Mirror editor when Amanda Holden was tipped off that her phone was being hacked by the Mirror. He paced up and down the newsroom 24/7, avidly looking at everyone’s activities and stories; hacking was rife at the time, but he didn’t see any of it, and he definitely never used any of it. But on Radio 4 two years ago, he said he did.

Morgan’s encouragement of James Hipwell led to him going to jail. But Piers never lifted a finger to help him, even though (if the allegations was true) he was insider trading more criminally than Hipwell. Somehow, he wriggled away from an insider trading charge….yet now rips Hipwell as ‘a jailbird’.

Such a lovely bloke, eh? You know, sometimes you can pinpoint an arsehole by his actions and statements. And quite often, by the company he keeps. This is Piers with one of his great buddies only a few years back:

Yes, it’s the utterly depraved former Newscorp CEO Rebekah Brooks. Yesterday here in the UK, it emerged that Brooks had given a mobile phone to the mother of murdered kiddy Sarah Payne “as a gift”….and then hacked it. You think she can’t go any lower than that? Wait until the civil cases start coming through before Justice Vos: the evidence of her direct use of, and commissioning of, phone-hack stings is enormous and damning.

But there’s more than guilt by association involved in my bringing this to your attention, oh American cousins and favourite allies: for when Piers was editor of The News of the World in the 1990s, a young cub reporter was his assistant for much of the time, and talks fondly of all the tricks learned at Morgan’s knee. Her name? Why, none other than Rebekah Brooks.

CNN beware: if you want a piece of devious low-life anchoring your CNN chat slot, then give Piers your unwavering support. Morgan can smear his critics as liars, drunks, druggies and jailbirds,  but he can’t smear The Slog or Private Eye….neither of whom he has tweeted against.

The reason is simple: we’re telling the truth, and he knows it. Piers Morgan is toast, trust me: half a dozen entirely respectable journalists are, as I speak, following up leads on Piers’ use of illegality to get tabloid stories. They’re finding more and more formerly scared folks now happy to talk. The Lord Leveson Press Inquiry starts very soon, and the Chairman has made clear his determination to find every hacker in town. There is no way Piers Morgan can come out of that squeaky clean – or anything like it.

You read it here first.

Follow the full story at The End of the Piers Show

Footnote: UK blogger Guido Fawkes continues to ignore The Slog’s exclusive on Amanda Holden’s phone being hacked during Piers Moron’s watch as Mirror editor. One wonders why.

20 thoughts on “HACKGATE DAY 198: Does Piers long for those days when he really was The Insider?

  1. He should be toast but I wonder whether he will fight extradition back to the UK or will our weak willed, lily livered government even bother to fight for it. Perhaps he could share a cell and serve an apprenticeship under Lord Black.
    I did note that the wife of Riper Mangos has an article in the Telegraph today about divorce as a way of life in California. Could she doing some advance planning for when he gets banged up?

    • If I recall correctly his autobiography quotes General Sir Mike Jackson commenting on Sadam Hussein ” He was a bad chap who needed slotting. Got a problem with that?”

  2. I am so pleased you couple the odious P Morgan with the the ‘unthinkable and abhorrent’ Brooks.

    Good work.

    Someone really should ask RB why she demanded Charles Begley (then a NOTW reporter) to dress up as Harry Potter just 90 minutes after the twin towers fell on the 11 Sept. 2001 (first published in Independent 25/8/2002 then again this month).

    I wonder what adjectives she will use or will she just smile and tell us a story (I would love to know what she did, as she reported, at the Sorbonne)?

    Finally the Mirror group’s reply to the question re hacking etc’ was answered in the present and did not to my reading answer the question did it ever occur especially when P Morgan was editor.

  3. I would just like to add, that during early 1999, I asked Piersmorgan’s newspaper The Daily Mirror for help to alert everyone about phonehacking. I have a very detailed story which involves his newsroom ( which apparently he walked up and down all of the time ). My story How I tried to raise the alarm is here http://www.hackergate.co.uk.
    I’ve sent many messages to Mr Morgan asking him why his newspaper decided to not run with this massive story in 1999 about voicemail interception but yet not received a reply. My details are now logged as an official statement now with the Metropolitan Police, the investigating team Operation Weeting and I’ve also expressed an interest to be involved in The Leveson Inquiry.
    I tried to expose this flaw of voicemail interception in 1999 and was ignored. 12 years have gone by and now people are listening. The public have a right to know that it could have all been prevented. I’m just the little guy here but I intend to make this well known. See you at the Inquiry Piers.

  4. I never understood why the FSA (or its equivalent at the time) didn’t prosecute Piers for insider trading.

    Also, as more information leaks out, one wonders why they don’t appear to do cold case reviews?

    A partial answer might be that they were all at it and the authorities were all too well aware of the situation.

  5. On the phone “gift” to Sara Payne one imagines that the card might have said something like “We have already set a secure pin on the phone. Love Becky”.

    • She is, truly, a very seriously mentally ill vixen. I wonder if she’ll plead insanity? I wouldn’t put it past her.

      • This is pure speculation on my part, but I suspect that there would be more to this than mere hacking into voice mail.

        My guess is that the phone was bugged so that NoTW could listen into calls.

  6. @Steven: Thanks, I read your website stuff and it’s often the case with these sorts of events that I try to find a common denominator to explain the negative responses/stonewalling you got from the various parties you contacted: MGN, The Sun, Met Police, MI5 et al.

    The only one I can think of is that State agencies already knew about the security weakness in cell phone voicemail and were probably already abusing it to keep tabs on people (possibly with Vodafone’s connivance), and the newspapers were warned off by them from splashing it in their daily rags. That would explain their initial excited interest followed by nothing. (We don’t often realise it but MSM all have direct contacts within the Security Services).

    IMO this view is reinforced by the fact that it all appears to have started not long after the Blair Govt came into power and surveillance was one of their big ideas. ID Cards/DNA databases et al were just extensions to their overall aim of total surveillance of the population and to create a climate of fear and mistrust among the population.

    It is for reasons like this that I have long believed that even the current Met Police Operation Weeting investigation will not be allowed to unearth the full extent of phone hacking that’s been going on for a long time and almost certainly still does. The National Security get-out-of-jail-free card will be played at some time methinks, if not already.

    John W may have some views on this too…..

  7. I don’t know who is right with this but Wikipaedia says that during the Court case it emerged that the £20,000 was in fact £67,000 worth of Viglen shares and that he not only emptied his own bank account but that of his wife too!
    (Wiki ref:Tryhorn, Chris (23 November 2005). “Mirror editor ‘bought £67,000 of shares before they were tipped’”. The Guardian (UK). Retrieved 22 May 2010.)
    Also:
    http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/story.asp?storyCode=32591&sectioncode=1

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