Lord Mandelson has told the Leveson Inquiry that he believed the Daily Mirror commissioned a private investigator to obtain his bank details and place his elderly mother under surveillance.
In an afternoon of wide-ranging and at times grandiloquent testimony to the press standards inquiry, the former Northern Ireland Secretary levelled his sights on a roll call of high- and low-profile media figures.
Lord Mandelson sourced some of his most incendiary evidence from documents which he said had been shown to him by police last year suggesting that a south London detective agency, Southern Investigations (SI), and its boss, Jonathan Rees, had been asked to try to access his bank account and target members of his family.
The peer said officers had told him the searches were ordered by the Daily Mirror while it was being edited by Piers Morgan. The newspaper group has previously said that some of its journalists did use SI, but this had ceased in 1999.
In his senior role in New Labour, Lord Mandelson was well-qualified to offer evidence on whether the party sought a pact with Mr Murdoch's media empire ahead of the 1997 General Election.
He insisted that although Mr Blair had sought to “reassure” The Sun over issues like Europe, there had been no deal.