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Tabloid newspaper published falsehood - shock

Tabloid newspaper readers across Britain are in shock today after the Daily Mirror admitted it had published fake pictures of British soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners. Millions of punters gasped in horror as they saw the front page of the Mirror this morning, which contained the headline "Sorry.. We Were Hoaxed".

"I just can't believe it," said Douglas Ramsbottom, a Mirror regular since 1845. "I always believed everything the newspapers told me, it's how we find out what's going on in the world. TV news is all very well but it's quite blatantly biased, especially the BBC, but I've always found newspapers to be objective and accurate. I don't know how this could have happened."

Mr Ramsbottom's wife, Mrs Ramsbottom, added that today's admission called into question many other stories she had believed in the newspapers. "Does this now mean that there aren't millions of one-legged Polish roof-tilers taking away the jobs of ordinary working Brits in Stoke-on-Trent? Or that Heather McCartney didn't give birth to a hermaphrodite llama?" she asked. "Gosh, maybe David Beckham didn't have an affair after all! This is devastating."

English teacher Gregory T Mullet pointed out that the Mirror had maintained its standards of journalism despite losing its editor, given that there should have been three dots rather than two in the ellipsis after "sorry".

Tributes have meanwhile poured in for the Mirror's sacked former editor, Piers Morgan, who has been called variously "the best editor the Mirror ever had since the last one", "a talented but altogether detestable man" and "incredibly smug".

A Downing Street spokesman declined to comment on Mr Morgan's dismissal or whether any other tabloid stories were false, particularly those containing the number 45 and the words "minutes", "weapons", "mass" and "destruction".

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