City Slickers 'gave friends share tips in advance'

DTI inspectors investigating the City Slickers scandal have found new evidence of widespread advance share-tipping by the two former
Mirror journalists.

DTI inspectors investigating the City Slickers scandal have found new evidence of widespread advance share-tipping by the two former Mirror journalists.

Hundreds of e-mails to and from reporters Anil Bhoyrul and James Hipwell have been studied by the inspectors and show the reporters were contacted by a wide range of other staff and their contacts to find out who they would be tipping in their column the next day.

The DTI inspectors have been able to recover hundreds of deleted e-mails from the Mirror computer system. The messages show the Slickers dispensing tips and, in some cases, the recipients later thanking the two for the money they have made investing in tipped shares.

Among those exchanging tips with the Slickers are believed to be City traders, market makers and public relations consultants. Dealers are said to have offered information of their own in return for warning of Slickers tips.

Last week DTI inspectors started interviewing up to 20 Mirror staff members about advance share-tipping at the newspaper. The scandal broke last February after it emerged that the Mirror's editor Piers Morgan had bought £20,000 worth of shares in the computer company Viglen the day before it was tipped in the Slickers column. The share price in Viglen increased after the Slicker's tip.

Trinity Mirror held its own investigation which discovered that Mr Bhoyrul and Mr Hipwell had frequently bought shares in advance of writing about them. This is considered a serious breach of journalist ethics. Mr Bhoyrul had bought shares before tipping them on 16 occasions. Mr Hipwell did so 25 times. Both men were sacked.

Mr Morgan said he had bought the Viglen shares unaware that the Slickers were about to tip them. Trinity Mirror cleared Mr Morgan of wrongdoing. But the Press Complaints Commission severely criticised him for allowing his staff to be involved in dealing in shares in which they wrote about.

At the time of the PCC judgement, its chairman, Lord Wakeham, condemned the "clear climate of slack" at the newspaper. The DTI launched its own inquiry. It is to report later this month. The papers are likely to be passed over to the DTI lawyers to decide whether any prosecutions are appropriate. As is their policy, the DTI will not even confirm or deny they are holding an investigation.

Piers Morgan, Anil Bhoyrul and James Hipwell all deny wrongdoing.

Mr Bhoyrul and Mr Hipwell now write a monthly tipster's column for Mohamed al Fayed's Punch magazine which carries a 'warning' that they invest in the shares they write about. "Rather than tip any old rubbish the Slickers have long believed your chances of picking a good company are enhanced if you risk your own capital," they say.

Trinity Mirror has said it will not comment until the DTI investigations are complete. Phil Graf, the company's chief executive, has complained that the press have not reported the City Slickers scandal fairly.

"I have understood what it like to be at the sharp end of reporting which was certainly not of the highest standard," he told the Society of Editors.

The broker used by Mr Morgan and his Slickers to make their share purchases was Antony Laiker, of Kyte Securities. He traded their shares through a nominee portfolio, a legal method of concealing the identities. Mr Laiker left his company after the share dealings came to light.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Recruitment Genius: Media & Advertising Sales Executive

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This national business publishi...

Recruitment Genius: Media Telesales Executive - OTE £25,000

£14500 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Guru Careers: Bathroom Showroom Manager / Bathroom Sales Designer

£22 - £25k basic + Commission=OTE £35k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Bathroom Sh...

Guru Careers: Account Executive / Account Manager

£18 - 20k + Benefits: Guru Careers: An Account Executive / Account Manager is ...

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea