So it was that this morning Morgan took to Twitter to advise “I've today been informed by CPS that no further action will be taken against me re Met Police phone hacking investigation … As I’ve said since the investigation began four years ago, I’ve never hacked a phone and nor have I ever told anybody to hack a phone … Thanks to all my family & friends, and kind people on here, for all their support. It was greatly appreciated … I'm now going to get spectacularly drunk. Happy Christmas”.
Whatever one thinks of Piers Morgan - and there will no doubt be those who tune in to ITV’s Good Morning Britain just to remind themselves how much they detest him - the question of whether he should be charged over any involvement in phone hacking was always going to come down to whether there was sufficient evidence to make it stick.
Alison Saunders at the CPS has told “After a thorough analysis, we have decided there is insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of a conviction and therefore no further action will be taken in any of these cases”. The CPS added “Potential charges for phone hacking and perverting the course of justice were considered … After thorough analysis of the evidence, it has been decided that no further action will be taken for either charge”.
So what has been the reaction of the Guido Fawkes blog? There has been a rather low-key post titled “End Of Hacking Prosecutions - Piers Gets Off”, a far cry from Staines’ braggadocio from 2011, and the claim “We’re taking our evidence to the Metropolitan Police”, which was an interesting assertion at the time, as the Fawkes rabble were not in possession of any evidence, which they therefore took nowhere.
The Fawkes blog tried to suggest that the Mirror running the Sven and Ulrika-ka-ka-ka story two days before the Screws was down to Morgan overseeing hacking: they were spectacularly wrong. Morgan got wind of the story after the Screws hacks who were writing it up let slip their exclusive during a suitably long visit to the pub, getting Ulrika’s publicist Melanie Cantor to agree to a story in his paper.
Whether you think Morgan did or didn’t do it - campaigning group Hacked Off has registered its disappointment at the CPS’ decision to drop phone hacking charges, as well as corporate prosecution of News International - the fact remains that, as Zelo Street said at the time, if folks like Staines couldn’t pony up the evidence, they should not expect to see any result. Morgan is a clear victor over The Great Guido - the end.