Fired tabloid editor pens his revenge on 'flirty, moody' Cherie Blair

Piers Morgan says he doesn't hate the PM's wife but, reports Andy McSmith, the former 'Daily Mirror' chief's diaries will shred her reputation

Cherie Blair is set to have her reputation shredded once again with the publication of "secret diaries" written by the bad boy of British newspapers, Piers Morgan, who accuses her of being insecure, moody and a flirt.

Cherie Blair is set to have her reputation shredded once again with the publication of "secret diaries" written by the bad boy of British newspapers, Piers Morgan, who accuses her of being insecure, moody and a flirt.

Serialisation of Mr Morgan's book in the Daily Mail coincides with another visit to the USA by the Prime Minister's wife, who has developed a well-paid sideline as an after-dinner speaker.

The "diaries" are said to be full of revelations about the famous and the powerful with whom Morgan rubbed shoulders during his career in journalism. He has promised to tell what Tony Blair "really" thinks of Alastair Campbell, and to give an account of how a paparazzo snatched a photograph of Cherie Blair sunbathing topless on a holiday beach.

He freely admits that Mrs Blair heartily disliked him, and likens to her to the late Princess Diana.

"I don't hate Cherie. She had an extremely difficult upbringing that left her pretty damaged. She's not dissimilar to Diana in that respect.

"The last time I saw her was at Peter Mandelson's leaving do, where she flirted with me. The chivalrous thing is to say that I wouldn't be her type."

Mr Morgan was sacked after nine years as editor of the Daily Mirror after his newspaper published photographs last year of British squaddies allegedly maltreating an Iraqi prisoner. The pictures were fakes. He now claims to have made more money out of that than if he had stayed in the job for another five years. His advance for his diaries is reputed to have been £1.2m. He was also paid £1.7m compensation for losing his job.

The revelation that he kept a diary all those years has puzzled old colleagues who have been contacted by him recently, so that he could pick their memories. Others who know Morgan have pointed out that he is not a natural observer and recorder of events, because he was never a good listener. "He was a great talker, who loved attention," one said.

But the "diary" is destined to be a sensation, with famous names running through it like the writing through a stick of rock, because Morgan first made his name as a journalist on the Sun through an amazing ability to get his face into photographs of the famous.

The sections likely to make the loudest noise will be those that describe Morgan's encounters with leading figures in the Labour government. He was a former Tory who became a Blairite in the 1990s, and did a great deal to help finish the Tories. Having become editor of the News of the World at the age of 28, in 1993, he ran a series of Tory "sleaze" stories, which usually led to yet another member of John Major's government resigning.

At the Mirror, aged 30, Morgan was in constant touch with Tony and Cherie Blair, Gordon Brown, Peter Mandelson and others. His diary records in a bemused tone Mrs Blair's unconcealed dislike for him. A fortnight after his dismissal, he was walking through Soho when the door of a people carrier opened to reveal a grinning Mrs Blair, who insisted that he must come to a Downing Street dinner to which he had been invited in his capacity as the Daily Mirror's editor. He reminded her that he had been sacked, and she exclaimed: "Yes, we're still celebrating!"

That could be explained by the way Morgan latterly changed the Daily Mirror's political line, and campaigned relentlessly against the Iraq war - but he attributes the problem to Mrs Blair's "insecure" personality. The Prime Minister's wife was brought up in single-parent household in Liverpool. She is more conscious than her husband of the fact that his Prime Minister's annual salary, which will rise in April to £183,932, is less than he could be earning as a barrister. The couple also lost out badly when they sold their Islington home in 1997 to move into Downing Street.

This week, Mrs Blair will give a speech at Samford University, for which she will get a fee that could come to £10,000. She will no doubt plug The Goldfish Bowl, her book about Prime Ministers' wives. She reputedly made more than £100,000 from five talks she delivered in Australia earlier this month.

At the first Labour Party annual conference after the 1997 victory, Tony Blair was - as usual - guest of honour at the lunch given by the Mirror management. The Mirror had reported that some cabinet ministers resented having their pay frozen as a political gesture.

The Prime Minister had been praising the Mirror's political coverage, when Morgan - then aged 32 - suddenly took out his wallet, removed a £20 note, threw it across the table to the Prime Minister, where it landed among the silver cutlery and quality bone china, and said: "Here, Tony, buy something for the kids, from the Mirror."

"It was one of those earth-stopping moments when you think, is this really happening?" one of the fellow guests recalled. The silence was broken by Alastair Campbell, who pocketed the crumpled note and announced that it would be donated to charity.

Morgan has complained repeatedly about Mrs Blair's attitude to him, saying that "it was unhelpful to the general relationship between the Mirror and Downing Street that the wife of the Labour Prime Minister had such a vengeful hatred for me." It is also arguable that his own flamboyant behaviour was "unhelpful" - but that observation may not have found its way into Morgan's diaries.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Ashdown Group: Web Developer - ASP.NET, C#, MVC - London

£45000 - £55000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Web Developer -...

Ashdown Group: .NET Developer : ASP.NET , C# , MVC , web development

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Excellent benefits - see advert: Ashdown Group: .N...

Guru Careers: 3D Package Designer / 3D Designer

£25 - 30K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an exceptional 3D Package Designer / 3...

Guru Careers: Interior Designer

£Competitive: Guru Careers: We are seeking a strong Middleweight / Senior Inte...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss