Piers Morgan Recording Proves He Knew About Phone Hacking, Claims Blogger
Paul Staines told Forbes he has proof that the former Daily Mirror and News of the World editor was aware of the illegal activities, despite his recent denials.
A British blogger claims he has evidence that former Daily Mirror and News of the World editor Piers Morgan knew about illegal phone hacking taking place under his watch, despite Morgan's recent denials.
"We have a recording which contradicts his recent claims," Staines said.
When asked if this recording "captures Morgan admitting to paying a third party to hack," Staines replied, "You are on the right lines."
He has not yet posted the recording but suggested that he intends to do so.
Morgan was named editor of News Corp. chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch's News of the World in 1994 but left the following year to serve in the same capacity at the Mirror. He held that post from 1995-2004.
During Parliamentary questioning related to News Corp.'s phone-hacking scandal last week, MP Louise Mensch asked both Murdoch and recently resigned News International CEO Rebekah Brooks if phone hacking on Fleet Street -- as outlined in Morgan’s 2005 autobiography, she said -- was not a widespread and accepted practice to generate scoops.
Morgan went on the attack following Mensch's comment.
"As she may be already aware, she came out with an absolute blatant lie during those proceedings," he said. "At no stage in my book or indeed outside of my book have I ever boasted of using phone hacking for any stories."
He also insisted: "I’ve never hacked a phone, told anyone to hack a phone, or published any stories based on the hacking of a phone. I wrote in my book that someone warned me phones could be hacked, so I changed my pin number. That’s it.”
So far, the phone-hacking scandal has been confined to News of the World, which shut down earlier this month after 168 years. NOTW editorial staffers are said to have hacked into the voicemails and phones of 9/11 victims; 13-year-old murder victim, Milly Dowler; and public figures and celebrities like the Royal Family and Hugh Grant, who helped expose the scandal.
In addition to the Parliamentary investigation, the U.S. Justice Department also is said to be preparing subpoenas as part of preliminary probes related to the allegations.
News Corp. was forced to pull out of a bid to buy the remaining shares in BSkyB as a result of the scandal.