I STAND behind no-one in my hatred of the royal family and everything they stand for. The creepy Christmas advert of the Princess of Wales and her children volunteering at a baby bank was just seasonal propaganda. The whole lot of them need their heads chopped off.

But I was cheering Harry on Friday after his court case against the Mirror Group resulted in him winning £140,000 in damages. The court proved what we already knew – that the industrial-scale phone hacking was not confined to the Murdoch press but was standard practice across all of the red-tops.

The judge ruled that there was extensive phone hacking between 2006 and 2011. He also found that Piers Morgan, who was forced to resign from the Mirror in 2004, knew fine well about the phone hacking.

Morgan – you might remember – denied on oath to the Leveson Inquiry knowing anything about it. On Friday, he was doubling down and lashing out and claiming he knew nothing. If anyone is due a reckoning it is the odious Morgan.

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But the phone-hacking scandal is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of media corruption in Britain. The scale of illegal activity is mind-blowing.

In the case of the former LibDem MP Chris Huhne, News Of The World spent thousands and thousands of pounds to hire private eyes to watch and tail him.

As Alan Rusbridger, former editor of the Guardian, describes in Prospect: “50 days of leg work – quietly tailing him, watching him, snooping on his partner, tailing her, eavesdropping on their conversations. And that’s all before the phone hacking”.

To get a sense of the scale of the crisis, Huhne was eventually paid six figures in damages, on top of the £1.2 billion in costs and damages which Murdoch Inc has already shelled out to victims of their illegal information gathering.

While the victory must be sweet for the person formerly known as Prince (Harry), the sordid tale does speak to the fact that the tabloids and the wider media are regulated so badly in this country. Have you watched GB News?

Across at our own public broadcaster/state broadcaster (take your pick), things aren’t much better. Something called “Gibbgate” broke out last week as revelations from Nadine Dorries’s book – which claimed that Robbie Gibb (non-exec director of the BBC) attempted to influence the Government so that it appointed Tory Lord Stephen Gilbert to be the next chair of Ofcom – were discussed in parliament.

The National: Samir Shah was previously the BBC’s head of television current affairs

Incoming BBC chair Samir Shah (above) dodged questions from Welsh Labour MP Kevin Brennan and John Nicholson MP about the whole affair and the naked and overt politicisation of the BBC.

In an article in The New European (“The real plot that’s hidden in Nadine Dorries’s potboiler”), Alan Rusbridger wrote: “You’ll remember that Boris Johnson, on becoming prime minister, took a keen interest in who should run both the BBC and Ofcom, the supposedly independent regulator which oversees it. He wanted his old chum Charles (now Lord) Moore, to be in charge of the BBC. He then wanted Paul Dacre, the former editor of the Daily Mail, to run Ofcom.

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“Both choices eventually failed – but not before many well-qualified candidates had been deterred from applying.

“Quite why Johnson wanted ‘his’ people in these crucial posts can only be guessed at. But we know he was no fan of the BBC. We know his friends in Fleet Street would dearly love to see it cut in size and influence. And we know several of his colleagues in the Conservative Party dearly wanted fledgling channels like GB News to succeed.

“After Dacre pulled out of the running for Ofcom, having been found unappointable by the selection committee, the choice eventually came down to two Conservative peers, a Lord Gilbert (described by Dorries as a ‘party apparatchik’) and Lord (Michael) Grade, 79.”

What happened next was even weirder, and more disturbing. Dorries was approached by two “‘Downing Street aides”, Dougie Smith and Munira Mirza. Smith’s approach was described as “intimidating and bullying”. They wanted her to appoint Gilbert, not Grade.

Then she was approached by Sir Robbie Gibb, Theresa May’s former spin doctor.

His brother is a Tory MP, he’s a non-executive director of the BBC (and one of the original founders of GB News).

This is the guy former BBC presenter Emily Maitlis called an “active agent of the Conservative Party” who played a significant role in determining the nature of the corporation’s news output.

Here are the 15 questions Rusbridger claims the BBC refuse to answer about the whole affair:

1. Did a BBC governor, Sir Robbie Gibb, meet with the then secretary of state to argue for a particular candidate to be chair of Ofcom?

2. Is Dorries’s account on pages 81-83 accurate or not? If not, what has she got wrong?

3. Did Gibb discuss the appointment with Munira Mirza and Douglas Smith?

4. Did Gibb, Mirza and Smith jointly agree to lobby the secretary of state over the appointment?

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5. If the answer to any of these questions is yes, does Gibb consider it appropriate for the Director of a regulated body (the BBC) to be lobbying for the appointment of a particular candidate to head the regulator (Ofcom)?

6. If the answer to any of these questions is no, does Gibb believe that the former secretary of state has invented this story?

7. According to the BBC’s website, Gibb’s role is as follows: “As one of the non-exec directors on the BBC Board, Robbie is responsible for upholding and protecting the independence of the BBC by acting in the public interest and exercising independent judgement.”

Does trying to influence the appointment of the BBC’s regulator count as “protecting the independence of the BBC”?

8. If the answer to of any of the questions is yes, will Gibb reconsider his position on the BBC Board?

9. If the answer to any of these questions is yes, did Gibb at any time inform his colleagues on the BBC Board of his attempts to lobby for a particular candidate to chair the regulator?

10. Did Gibb have any contact with the former secretary of state, Oliver Dowden, over the make-up of the panel to appoint the chair of Ofcom?

The National:

The politicisation of the BBC has never been more brutally exposed. The attempt to influence the regulator (pathetic as it is) lies completely exposed.

In any decent world, Robbie Gibb (above) would be immediately sacked and Piers Morgan would be facing the consequences of his actions over the past two decades.

Unfortunately, it’s not a decent world and both individuals will continue to fester and operate in the media swap they inhabit.

The state of the British media is shocking. It is a toxic influence on the whole of our politics and how people understand the world. This was made clear as day last week.

We had no doubts about the state of the tabloids, but now the political influence on the public broadcaster has been laid bare. The failure of any decent regulation is a disgrace and is the background to this whole charade.

It’s a weird old world when you find yourself cheering Nadine Dorries and Prince Harry.