Leveson Inquiry Piers Morgan

December 20, 2011 by staff 

Leveson Inquiry Piers MorganLeveson Inquiry Piers Morgan, Giving evidence to the Leveson inquiry this afternoon, former Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan denied allegations of casual phone hacking at the tabloid during his editorship.

Appearing via video link from New York, Morgan challenged an account of the practice being used at the newspaper submitted to the inquiry by one of the tabloid’s former business journalists, James Hipwell, who will give evidence tomorrow.

Hipwell, who was jailed in 2005 over the so-called “city slickers” scam, said that he had “watched journalists carrying out repeated privacy infringements” at the Mirror, including hacking, which he called a “bog-standard” technique. He first spoke out in July when he said hacking was “endemic” at the title and was “seen as a bit of a wheeze”.

Hipwell has also alleged in his Leveson inquiry statement that it was common practice for Mirror journalists to delete messages to prevent other news organisations accessing them.

Trinity Mirror, publisher of the Daily and Sunday Mirror, has consistently denied that any of its journalists have used illegal methods to gather information, calling Hipwell’s allegations “totally unsubstantiated”.

Morgan, who now works for US news network CNN, told the inquiry that if hacking had taken place at the Mirror he “probably” would have known about, adding that he had “no reason or knowledge to believe that it was going on”.

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