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Morgan 'unaware of phone hacking'

Former tabloid editor Piers Morgan has told the Leveson inquiry that he "did not believe" he had listened to illegally-obtained voice messages.

Mr Morgan, who was editor of the News of the World and the Daily Mirror, told the inquiry that "ethical considerations" were "interwoven" into his work.

He said he was unaware of any phone hacking at the Daily Mirror under his leadership - and had "no reason" to believe that hacking was going on.

Mr Morgan told inquiry chairman Lord Justice Leveson that he had listened to a voicemail message left for Heather Mills - former wife of pop star Sir Paul McCartney.

He repeatedly refused to disclose the "source" of the message. But he said Sir Paul had "stated as a fact" that "Lady Heather Mills McCartney" had recorded conversations and given them to journalists.

Mr Morgan, who is based in America and hosts a CNN television show, said he had "little sympathy" with "celebrities who sell their weddings for a million pounds".

He said celebrities were the "last people" who should be protected by a privacy law.

Lord Justice Leveson was told that Mr Morgan became the News of the World's youngest editor in 1994 at the age of 28 and went on to edit the Daily Mirror between 1995 and 2004.

Mr Morgan, who gave evidence to the hearing in London from the United States via a video link, was questioned by Lord Justice Leveson and Robert Jay QC, counsel to the inquiry.

He said he was unaware of any phone hacking going on at the Daily Mirror under his leadership, adding: "To the best of my recollection, I do not believe so."


From Belfast Telegraph