Andy McSmith's Diary: The day that Piers Morgan revealed all to Charlotte Church

 

As Piers Morgan contemplates his next move, there hangs over him the issue of phone hacking, and how much he knew while he was editor of the Daily Mirror from 1995 to 2004. Lord Justice Leveson, it will be recalled, found his protestations of complete ignorance “utterly unpersuasive”. Without suggesting that there was evidence that Morgan had ever sanctioned phone hacking, the judge concluded that “he was aware that it was taking place in the press as a whole and… was prepared to joke about it.”

For what it is worth, the judge’s conclusions have support from Charlotte Church, who is now 27 and wiser than she was when, as a teenage star, she first met Morgan, though no less prone to using strong language. “I remember interviewing Piers Morgan when I was 17, for the Oxford Union, and he was such a prick,” she told Stylist magazine. “His argument basically centred around, ‘You’re rich, you’re making money out of this – who the f*** are you to question it?’ I was like, ‘I hate you!’ I wanted to storm out, and it took all my strength not to – and in that talk he basically told me about phone hacking and everything.”

They’ve got Mogg’s number

Respect to Channel 4 news for transporting Jacob Rees-Mogg, a Tory MP who doesn’t even pretend to be anything but a southern Tory toff, to South Shields to see what they would make of him up there. One exchange in the street with a woman pushing a buggy went as follows; She: “I like Labour.” The Mogg: “You like Labour? Why do you like Labour?” In one short sentence, she set out her opinion of David Cameron, by coincidence using the very term that Charlotte Church used to describe Piers Morgan.

Later, the Mogg was set up to call the numbers in a bingo hall, and called out 89, adding that it was one more than the number commonly known as ‘two fat ladies’. When a voice in the audience cried: “You can’t say that any more,” the Mogg disarmingly replied: “Oh, but there are only thin ladies in here so I didn’t think anyone would mind.”

A night to remember

The Politics Home website reports that an unnamed Labour MP’s office keeps receiving misdirected emails from Lib Dem high command, because the MP’s researcher has a name “strikingly similar” to that of a Lib Dem peer. The Labour staffer is said to have been taken aback to receive a mysterious missive from Lord (Paddy) Ashdown, declaring: “That was great last night. Thanks for how much you put into it.”

Horror scope

You have to feel sorry for the couple from Romford, Essex, after rays from the sun refracted through a crystal ball they had left on their window sill and set their curtains on fire. But they should have foreseen it.

A fate worse than sprouts

Lord Pearson, a Ukip peer, has suggested that the Government should mark the 25th anniversary of the collapse of the Soviet Union in 2016 by honouring Vladimir Bukovsky, a 71- year-old Russian now living in Cambridge. He was the first to expose the misuse of psychiatry to silence dissent.

For that and other displays of stubborn courage, he spent 13 years in and out of prison or mental hospitals before being deported. On his arrival in the West in 1976, he tried to describe some particularly disgusting vegetable that was served to prisoners. Someone suggested that he meant Brussels sprouts.

“No,” exclaimed Bukovsky, “they’re delicious!” Try to imagine a vegetable compared with which Brussels sprouts are “delicious”, and you have a small insight into what Bukovsky went through in defence of free speech.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Director - Tech Startup - Direct Your Own Career Path

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Telephone Sales Advisor - OTE £35,000

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Telephone Sales Advisor is re...

Recruitment Genius: Appointment Maker - OTE £20,000

£14000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An office based Appointment Mak...

Recruitment Genius: Healthcare Assistant

£7 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This provider of care services is looking for...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent