Mensch goes public after email threatens to expose drug use

A Conservative MP who questioned Rupert and James Murdoch about the extent of journalistic malpractice on Fleet Street yesterday suggested that she herself may have become a victim of a smear campaign.

Louise Mensch revealed she had received an email from a group called "David Jones Investigative Journalists" alleging she had taken drugs with violinist Nigel Kennedy in the 1990s, written a novel of a sexual nature while she was supposed to be working for the record label EMI and included derogatory references in the book to her line manager at the company.

The email suggested David Jones Investigative Journalists intended to publish the claims (although it did not say where) and asked for her response. That came yesterday – when Ms Mensch replied to the email, copying in Westminster journalists and Conservative chief whip Patrick Mcloughlin.

Her extraordinarily frank reply admitted some of the allegations, built on others and blew away any chance that those who sent the email could have an exclusive story on their hands.

"Although I do not remember the specific incident, this sounds highly probable," she replied. "I thoroughly enjoyed working with Nigel Kennedy. 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.

"Writing the first few chapters of Career Girls on my EMI computer is quite correct. It was also not why I was fired by EMI. 'Leaving work early' and 'missing the odd day at work' along with 'inappropriate dress' were the reasons quoted to me."

She ended her reply: "Most importantly, I have not the slightest intention of being deterred from asking how far the culture of hacking and blagging extended in Fleet Street."

Ms Mensch, who is on holiday in America, said she would release the email address from which she received the questions. At the same time she released a letter apologising to the former Mirror editor Piers Morgan for misquoting him during her questioning of the Murdochs.

In a letter to the chairman of the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee, John Whittingdale, she said she had "wrongly" stated he had been open about personally hacking phones in a book he wrote.

Mrs Mensch said her questions had been based on a "misreading" of a newspaper report on Mr Morgan's account of how the Mirror obtained its scoop on the affair between former England football manager Sven-Goran Eriksson and Ulrika Jonsson.

The threat – and the reply

On 22 July I received the following email:

Dear Mrs Mensch

We are informing you that we have come into possession of the following information about yourself and would like to ask you for any comments before we publish this information.

1. Whilst working at EMI in the 1990s you took drugs with Nigel Kennedy at Ronnie Scott's in Birmingham, including dancing on a dancefloor whilst drunk with Mr Kennedy in front of journalists. Photos of this exist.

2. Whilst working at EMI in the 1990s you wrote a novel of a sexual nature on your work computer during working hours and that it was this that caused EMI to terminate your employment. Correspondence of this exists.

3. The resultant novel included derogatory references to a driver called Roger, a character you based on Roger Lewis, your then line manager, Managing Director at EMI, who is now Group Chief Executive of the Welsh Rugby Union.

We look forward to hearing from you.

With thanks

David Jones Investigative Journalists

My response is as follows:

1. 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.

2. Writing the first few chapters of Career Girls on my EMI computer is quite correct. However, it was all done after work hours. It was also not why I was fired by EMI. "Leaving work early" and "missing the odd day at work", along with "inappropriate dress", were the reasons quoted to me.

3. Career Girls was my first novel. I used the names of many real people I knew for minor characters such as journalists, chauffeurs, bankers and so forth. Roger Lewis was probably amongst them, as were (off the top of my head) Therese Coffey MP, now my colleague on the Select Committee, Jeremy Quin, Damian Hinds MP, Maurice Oberstein, Rod Clayton, James Robertson and many more. None of them have ever complained about my using their names in this way.

I would also like to note that I am thrilled that Roger is now the Group Chief Executive of the Welsh Rugby Union. So many other co-workers from my music business days in the 90s have not found as exciting second careers.

Most importantly, I have not the slightest intention of being deterred from asking how far the culture of hacking and blagging extended in Fleet Street.

News
Food blogger and Guardian writer Jack Monroe with her young son
people
News
people
News
peopleSinger tells The Independent what life is like in rehab in an exclusive video interview
Arts and Entertainment
booksPhotographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years - but he says it wasn’t all fun and games...
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
News
i100
Sport
Aguero - who single-handedly has kept City's Champions League dreams alive - celebrates his dramatic late winner
footballManchester City 3 Bayern Munich 2: Argentine's late hat-rick sees home side snatch vital victory
News
Muhammad Ali pictured in better health in 2006
peopleBut he has enjoyed publicity from his alleged near-death experience
Arts and Entertainment
Tony breaks into Ian Garrett's yacht and makes a shocking discovery
TVReview: Revelations continue to make this drama a tough watch
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
TV
News
The assumption that women are not as competent in leadership positions as men are leads to increased stress in the workplace
science... and it's down to gender stereotypes
Life and Style
The racy marketing to entice consumers to buy Fairlife, which launches in the US next month
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Inner sanctum: Tove Jansson and friends in her studio in 1992
booksWhat was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
News
i100
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 General

Austen Lloyd: Commercial Property Lawyer - Cheshire

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: CHESHIRE MARKET TOWN - An exciting and rare o...

Austen Lloyd: Residential Property Solicitor - Hampshire

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: NORTH HAMPSHIRE - SENIOR POSITION - An exciti...

Recruitment Genius: Gas Installation Engineer

£29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Gas Installation Engineer is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Domestic Gas Technical Surveyor

£28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Domestic Gas Technical Surveyor is req...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital