Piers Morgan 'Knew About Phone Tapping'
Piers Morgan has come under pressure after a recording emerged of him apparently admitting to knowledge of phone hacking during his time editing the Daily Mirror.
During an appearance on the BBC’s Desert Island Disks in 2009 Piers Morgan admits to presenter Kirsty Young he has knowledge of phone tapping and using “third parties” to get stories. He said: “I make no pretence about the stuff we used to do.”
The transcript of the exchange is below.
Young: And what about this nice middle class boy who would have to be dealing with, I mean, essentially people who rake through bins for a living, people who tap people’s phones, people who take secret photographs and do all that very nasty down in the gutter stuff?
Morgan: Yeah.. Well to be honest let’s put that in perspective as well, not a lot of that went on.
Morgan: A lot of it was done by third parties rather than the staff themselves. That’s not to defend it because obviously you were running the results of their work. I’m quite happy to be parked in the corner as tabloid beast and to have to sit here defending all these things I used to get up to. I make no pretence about the stuff we used to do. I simply say the net of people doing it was very wide and certainly encompassed the high and low end of the newspaper market.
The CNN host has become a top target in the phone hacking scandal, with multiple reports accusing him of having knowledge of hacking while he was editor of the Daily Mirror from 1995 to 2004. A former Mirror journalist, James Hipwell, told the Independent that the practice was "endemic" and that it was "inconceivable" that Morgan did not know about it.
Morgan has vociferously denied every single charge. In one tweet, he wrote, "I've never hacked a phone, told anyone to hack a phone, or published any stories based on the hacking of a phone." He has also noted that Hipwell was jailed for manipulating the stock market and calling him a far from credible witness. He also had a scalding exchange with an MP who inaccurately said that he admitted to employing the practice in his memoirs.
However, the recording has come to light after news on Tuesday that the Daily Mirror, the paper Morgan formerly edited, has launched an internal review into phone hacking.