Piers Morgan, the former Daily Mirror editor who was sacked after publishing fake pictures of British troops abusing Iraqi prisoners, is back in the news again with serialised diary entires from his new book, The Insider.

Morgan reputedly received 1.2m pounds for his diaries, in which the Blairs have a leading role. The Guardian says:

His diaries also show the lengths to which Labour courted the tabloids. While editor of the News of the World and then The Mirror, Morgan counts “22 lunches, six dinners, six interviews, 24 further one-to-one chats over tea and biscuits, and numerous phone calls.

He claims Mr Blair openly admitted to courting Rupert Murdoch.

“I had better court him,” Morgan recalls the prime minister as saying. “It is better to be riding the tiger’s back than let it rip your throat out.”

Morgan’s many stories include news of Cherie Blair’s pregnancy in November 1999. The Mirror had previously claimed the story was a tip-off from a top-level source, however, Morgan’s diaries reveal that in fact the Mirror paid Blair’s PR man Max Clifford £50,000 for the exclusive.

CRIKEY: See more in The Guardian here – Piers Morgan puts some spin on the wrong axis and some cracking yarns from The Insider here – Liars, cheats and cokeheads. I love tabloid journalists