Security leaks leaves us open to terror
We laughed heartily at MI5 losing the plans to its Thames House HQ and mocked them in general. “Not as bad as the police though,” said Dan, “because they’re all crooks mate.” I agreed and 18 March 2008 was turning into a happy day all round. It was good to talk to Dan again. His honesty about the corrupt System was refreshing.
We got down to the business of Paul Burrell and a chap on YouTube purporting to be him. I had been stringing the man along for information and to ascertain if he was genuinely Burrell. Whoever it was, he had a serious drink problem and he visited my website http://www.news-alliance.com frequently from Florida, USA, where Burrell lived at the time.
The Sun had been after Burrell and finally nailed him with a covert camera in a New York Hotel room, admitting that he had lied for the Queen at the Diana Inquest in London. “Well, she’s the Queen,” said a drunk Burrell, unaware he was being recorded.
The Sun’s Emily Smith had telephoned me twice from New York and it seemed everyone wanted a piece of Burrell for lying to the Diana Inquest.
I agreed to work with Dan on flushing out the character behind the YouTube account and if it was no more than an impersonator, then expose that as the lesser option.
Dan complained on the telephone that there was considerable “white noise” on the line and indeed there was. He asked for a mobile number to call me back, which he did.
He asked if we could meet in London and I suggested the Garden Gate public house in Hampstead, just a few yards from where my uncle had lived until he died in March 2005. Digging into his Government Service, I had got to know Hampstead quite well.
We agreed on a meeting and all seemed well. Dan called again to say my website had been hacked offline again, and it had, and he opined, “you know who’s done that don’t you mate? MI5, because you’ve upset them with this Diana coverage on your website.”
It was entirely possible and MI5 has been in the hacking business for years… after all, that’s what spies do, gather information and disrupt the enemy. Coming from a so-called ‘subversive’ background, I was the ‘enemy of the State’ in question.
The next morning Dan called to say he couldn’t make the Hampstead meeting and that the Screws [NOTW] had lost interest in the story. I was concerned, having obtained my mobile phone number and some information, he was calling off.
This was not the same Dan Evans I knew at the Sunday Mirror. On the contrary, in just 3 years, he’d become a Murdoch creature, ruthless and cavalier.
I was not surprised that News International had corrupted yet another decent man but was deeply disappointed in Dan. He had betrayed himself, not me, he had sacrificed his integrity for ‘the story’.
The next thing, hey presto, Rob Jobson royal correspondent for the Screws had a story on Burrell and it became clear why I had been dropped. I telephoned Jobson to plug him about the story from Ron Cosgrove, based entirely on an affidavit, no real evidence to support his tales.
Naturally, I recorded every word Jobson said and we had a good laugh at the end about Burrell, Cosgrove and the whole sordid saga. I came out empty-handed as often happens in journalism but so what.
I resolved never to work with Dan again though. He had changed into a News Corp crook and I wanted nothing more to do with him. And rumours had been circulating for years about phone hacking and the ‘rogue reporter’ theory was beginning to take shape but not for long.
I knew Dan was heading for trouble and would soon be uncovered. The Guardian was breathing down the neck of News International but pulled its punches with a ‘Labour’ government in power.
It really wouldn’t do to allow the tidal wave of corruption to wash their Labour friends out of Whitehall; remember Operation Motorman and thousands of media crimes buried by New Labour…
I was tickled that now The Guardian was interested in press corruption, having refused to investigate it in 2005 when I spoke to the newsdesk… “not one for us,” they said and Sunday Times corruption remained concealed until I exposed it.
With Labour out of power in May 2010, the stage was set for the Hackgate firestorm but no one anticipated the terrifying ferocity of what was to come.
I kept a watching brief on Dan’s career and it was not long before he was outed for hacking the phones of Kelly Hoppen and Sienna Miller, amongst others that is…
He was suspended from the Screws and I decided to contact him, using the alternate email address he urged contacts to use. Why not use his NOTW email address instead of email@example.com
I had been exchanging emails with James Robinson at The Guardian about Evans to ascertain what was known. Robinson admitted he’d seen evidence to prove Evans was a ‘serial phone hacker’ and had targeted Sienna Miller and Kelly Hoppen.
The game was over for Dan, his career was dead as he’d known it and it was time to save himself. I owed him some advice in return for the help he’d given me in 2003.
I emailed him and advised him in strong terms to avoid prison and its harsh climate of revenge. I reminded him of the three principles: Backsides, corks and salvation.
I told him not to bite the bullet for Murdoch and the senior journos at the Screws and to come clean with the police about what had happened. I never used the term ‘supergrass’ but I did advise him to become a witness for the Crown and to betray his colleagues before they betrayed him. This was ‘night of the long knives’ episode two, after all.
“The pen is mightier than the sword.” Is it indeed?
Murdoch and the gang would not hesitate to throw junior employees to the wolves and why should Dan be sacrificed for the likes of Coulson, Brooks and Thurlbeck.
It’s now clear that my advice had some affect on Dan and I’m pleased it did because the journo-crooks on Fleet Street terrorised and destroyed the lives of thousands of victims for years, protected to the hilt by the corrupt police and the tame New Labour regime.
I openly admit to telling DC Richard Scott on Operation Weeting everything I knew about Dan Evans and gave him a voice recording and emails. This was not revenge, I was simply trying to engineer Dan into becoming a ‘grass’ or what the papers now call a ‘supergrass’.
Photo: MI5 secrets are blown – NOTW 16 March 2008
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