Detectives interview Piers Morgan about phone-hacking allegations at Daily Mirror
US-based broadcaster questioned by Scotland Yard
James Cusick is political correspondent of The Independent and The Independent on Sunday. As an experienced member of the lobby, he has previously worked at The Sunday Times and the BBC. His career as a journalist has been split between print and television, including senior positions as producer with Sir David Frost and at BBC Newsnight. He is also an award-winning golf and travel writer, working for over a decade as the UK contributing editor for one of the USA’s leading golf magazines. He broadcasts regularly for the BBC and CNN. He lives in London.
Friday 14 February 2014
Piers Morgan, the former editor of the Daily Mirror, has been interviewed under caution by specialist detectives from Scotland Yard investigating phone hacking.
The Metropolitan Police confirmed it had spoken to a 48-year-old journalist as part of Operation Golding, an off-shoot of Operation Weeting, which probed illegal phone interception at the News of the World and was later widened to include Trinity Mirror newspapers.
Mr Morgan confirmed that following a voluntary statement which he had supplied to police last year, Scotland Yard subsequently interviewed him under caution at a south London police station on 6 December. The interview followed a formal request that he attend. The Met confirmed that Mr Morgan had not been arrested.
In a statement, Mr Morgan, who is now based in the United States as an interviewer on the CNN news channel, said he was asked by Operation Weeting to attend the interview “when I was next in the UK”.
His Atlanta-based employer said it had been informed immediately after Mr Morgan had been called by Scotland Yard. Trinity Mirror declined to comment. Mr Morgan edited the Daily Mirror from 1995 until 2004, when he was dismissed after the newspaper published staged pictures of Iraqi prisoners being abused by British soldiers.
Some of Mr Morgan’s former colleagues at Trinity Mirror were arrested in dawn raids last year as part of the phone hacking investigation at the Met. He has always denied any involvement in the illegal practice.
The interview under caution of the television star means that, including Mr Morgan, six senior journalists from Mirror titles have now been arrested or formally interviewed in connection with the police’s phone hacking investigation.
Tina Weaver, the former Sunday Mirror editor, the paper’s former deputy editor Mark Thomas, the People editor James Scott and his deputy, Nick Buckley, were arrested in March last year. The day after the arrests, the former Daily Mirror editor Richard Wallace was also questioned under caution.
At the end of 2011 Mr Morgan told the Leveson Inquiry into press ethics that he had not been aware of any phone hacking taking place at the Mirror while he was in charge.
Saying he had “no reason” to believe it was going on during his editorship, he told the inquiry that “not a single person” had made a formal or legal complaint against the Mirror in connection with the illegal practice.
Although he told the inquiry he had been played a recording of a voicemail left on the phone of Sir Paul McCartney by his former wife, Heather Mills, he refused to discuss the details, claiming it would “compromise” the source of the information.
In a 2007 interview given to the Press Gazette, Mr Morgan described hacking as “an investigative practice that everyone knows was going on at almost every paper in Fleet Street for years.”
In the Leveson Report, published in November 2012, Mr Morgan’s assertion that he had no knowledge of phone hacking was described by Lord Justice Leveson as “utterly unpersuasive”.
The former Mirror journalist James Hipwell, who also gave evidence to Leveson, described hacking as “a bog-standard journalistic tool” at the paper.
At the phone hacking trial running at the Old Bailey, it emerged that former Sunday Mirror journalist Dan Evans had pleaded guilty to hacking phones over 18 months between 2003 and 2005, at which time he left to work at the News of the World.
Read more: Kevin Pietersen: Piers Morgan continues his unrelenting defence of former England captain as he claims Pietersen was never told he had lost the trust of the ECB and captain Alastair Cook
Lana Del Rey: 'I have slept with a lot of guys in the industry'
Peaches Geldof cause of death: 'Heroin addict' socialite had taken fatal dose of drug, inquest concludes
Peaches Geldof inquest: Tragic final moments of socialite's life reveal she lied to husband about failed heroin tests
Israel-Gaza conflict: The myth of Hamas’s human shields
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Was a Russian-made missile really parked in this quiet square?
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
- 1 Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Pro-Russian rebel 'admits to shooting down plane'
- 3 Israel-Gaza conflict: The myth of Hamas’s human shields
- 5 Dutch paedophile club to fight their ban at the European Court of Human Rights