A flurry of letters released just now by the DCMS committee, which has also agreed to write to five potential witnesses – including James Murdoch – as I predicted last night. Perhaps the most interesting letter is from Louise Mensch, the Tory MP, who has apologised to Piers Morgan for her “error” on July 19.
“I wrongly stated that Piers Morgan, formerly editor of the Daily Mirror, had been open about personally hacking phones in a book he wrote. This was based on my misreading of an article in the Daily Telegraph,” says the letter, written on July 29 (today).
That follows a letter, also published for the first time, from Sly Bailey – chief exec of Trinity Mirror – expressing concern about Mensch’s comments. Bailey writes that “we hold no brief for Mr Morgan and have had little contact with him since he left our employment” but she complains that Mensch’s ‘statements of fact’ were ‘wholly wrong’.
Not that this entirely ends the speculation about Morgan’s time as a tabloid editor. He has still not fully explained this passage from a Daily Mail article in 2006, recently highlighted by Guido:
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’ into the answerphone.
Will Morgan at some point reveal who it was who read out the message out to him?
Meanwhile, what to make of Mensch’s publication of her response to even more bizarre allegations – seemingly made by “David Jones Investigative Journalists” – that while in her 20s (when she was a music industry executive) she took drugs at Ronnie Scott’s with Nigel Kennedy?
“Although I do not remember the specific incident, this sounds highly probable. I thoroughly enjoyed working with Nigel Kennedy, whom I remember with affection. Additionally, since I was in my twenties, I’m sure it was not the only incident of the kind; we all do idiotic things when young. I am not a very good dancer and must apologise to any and all journalists who were forced to watch me dance that night at Ronnie Scott’s.”
But who are “David Jones Investigative Journalists”? Why don’t they come up in Google? And why has this broken on the same day that Mensch’s apology letter to Morgan made it into the public domain?
UPDATE: Mensch’s PR man tells me that David Jones emailed from “firstname.lastname@example.org”. Meanwhile there are no records of David Jones Investigative Journalists at Companies House.