Piers Morgan, the former UK editor turned CNN personality, told an inquiry by the British government into journalism ethics that hacking into the phones of prominent personalities was not something he was involved with when he was running the Daily Mirror tabloid, part of News Corp.’s News International subsidiary, which also owned News of the World.
Morgan had also been editor of News of the World earlier in his career, though before the time of any alleged phone hacking.
Testifying via video from the US where he hosts a nightly talker for CNN, Morgan acknowledged 12/20 that hacking into phones by the tabloids was a “widespread practice.” However, he claimed he had never sanctioned or engaged in such behavior himself.
“Not a single person has made a formal complaint against a Daily Mirror journalist,” he said. “Certainly all journalists knew they had to act within the confines of the law. This was enshrined within their contracts.”
The inquiry was launched in response to admissions of phone hacking done by News of the World tabloid. The paper, which was closed because of the scandal, hacked into the voicemails of celebrities, members of the royal family and crime victims. News Corp. has made several settlements with victims including the family of murdered teenager Milly Dowler, whose phone was hacked by News of the World.
Morgan also said he had never given permission to pay off police for information, which is also something News of the World has been accused of doing.