Okay, so the New Of The Screws was wound up two Summers ago. That doesn’t lessen how irritating the then-NOTW Political Editor David Wooding was during the whole Milly Dowler phonehacking shitstorm, popping up on our TV screens outside Fortress Wapping to explain that basically News International single-handedly keep Britain Great, etc.
His whining increased inexorably after the paper’s closure, especially after the backtrack on the ‘false hope’ allegations (because apparently hacking into the voicemail of missing/dead teenagers is fine in and of itself), and like his estimable sticky-fisted colleague Norbert Spermmousse Neville Thurlbeck seemed to revel in this brief moment in the spotlight, building himself up as some kind of classical music-loving Renaissance Man/saviour of the free press.
Landed on his feet as a Tory flag-waver and Associate Political Editor at The Sun. Who’da thunk it?
On 10 March 1987 after having a drink with Jonathan Rees, his partner in Southern Investigations, at the Golden Lion pub in Sydenham, Morgan was found dead in the pub car park next to his car, with an axe wound to the back of his head. Although a watch had been stolen his wallet had been left and a large sum of money was still in his jacket pocket. The pocket of his trousers had been torn open and notes he had earlier been seen writing were missing. Subsequently a match to the DNA sample found on Morgan’s trouser pocket was allegedly made. Morgan was alleged to have been investigating drug-related police corruption in south London before his death.
Detective Sergeant Sid Fillery, stationed at Catford police station, was assigned to the case but did not reveal to superiors that he had been working unofficially for Southern Investigations. In April 1987 six individuals including Sid Fillery and Jonathan Rees, the brothers Glenn and Garry Vian and two Metropolitan police officers were arrested on suspicion of murder but all were eventually released without charge.
At the inquest into Morgan’s death in April 1988 it was alleged that Jonathan Rees, who had had disagreements with Morgan, told Kevin Lennon, an accountant at Southern Investigations, that police officers at Catford police station who were friends of his were either going to murder Danny Morgan or would arrange it, and Sid Fillery would replace Morgan as Rees’s partner. When asked, Rees denied murdering Daniel Morgan. Sid Fillery, who had retired from the Metropolitan Police on medical grounds and joined Southern Investigations as Rees’s business partner, was alleged by witnesses to have tampered with evidence and attempted to interfere with witnesses during the inquiry.
So, Ian Edmondson, assistant editor of the News Of The World newspaper currently embroiled in the phonehacking imbroglio, has had his lawyers put out a letter to emphasise that the reason ex-NOTW editor Andy Coulson today resigned from his lucrative role as Tory spin doctor is definitely not that Edmondson was going to “turn Coulson in”.
Phew! As long as we’re clear on that – and thanks to Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger tweeting a copy of the letter there can be no doubt that many more people know that it would be entirely improper to so much as think that the reason renowned bully Andy Coulson jumped ship had anything to do with the possibility that ex-acolyte Edmondson was ready to spill the beans.
PSB LAW LLP
4 Stratford Place,
London W1C 1AT
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7355 8900
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7355 8901 http://www.psblaw.co.uk
Our ref: EP/pw/E001-003 Date: 21st January 2011
NOTE TO EDITORS/BROADCASTERS
Ian Edmondson (News of the World)
This firm represents Ian Edmondson and, following the resignation of Andy Coulson today, there has been suggestion that Mr Coulson resigned because our client “…was about to turn Coulson in…”.
This is to notify you that such an allegation is entirely false and defamatory and we have instructions to take appropriate action in relation to that statement and any repetition of it.
All our client’s rights and remedies are fully reserved.
Mr Edmondson requests that any and all enquiries directed to him should be addressed to this firm and, in that regards, the following emails will be of assistance:
So I went to the ‘What’s The Blogging Story?‘ event at the Watershed I mentioned earlier. Bit of a curate’s egg, really – some interesting panelists, but very little chance to actually talk about blogging, the social web or much else. Frankly it was not worth the seven quid I paid to go.
Ex-Mirror editor-turned-Guardian media pundit Roy Greenslade had a stab at being a bit quote-worthy on former News Of The World boss-turned-Tory spin king Andy Coulson and his involvement (or otherwise) in the hacker scandal*:
Just go to Coulson now… The only reason anyone can get hot under the collar about Andy Coulson is because The Guardian have exposed him. Because they have exposed him, because The Independent have taken it up as a big cause as well.
Now that’s a perfect example of the way in which the other press, self-interestedly, because they either support the Tories, or they support Rupert Murdoch, covertly, allow this to go forward.
But there’s plenty of stuff on the net about Coulson, plenty of material available, and I think that… By the way, we haven’t dropped the Coulson thing, none of us have dropped the Coulson thing. I mean, I know the guy is guilty. Is that being tweeted?
I know, I know, I know an editor must have known. I do, I do, I did say on a public platform recently that it is either a case that he knew, and therefore is lying, or it is a case that he didn’t know, and is therefore the most incompetent editor Fleet Street has ever known. Is that being tweeted? Because that’s the truth of the situation.
So he’s either a liar or incompetent, and therefore he shouldn’t be director of communications of our Prime Minister’s office. And we will pursue this.
I think that the line-up went something like this…