Piers Morgan says ‘he was not aware’ of phone hacking at Daily Mirror as Prince Harry’s High Court case begins
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Piers Morgan has said he was not aware of any phone hacking taking place whilst he was editor of the Daily Mirror. This comes after a High Court case against Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN), brought by Prince Harry, began on Wednesday (May 10).
Lawyers argue that executives at the publisher failed to act despite having knowledge of widespread phone hacking. Speaking before the trial, Mr Morgan said: "I’ve never hacked a phone. I’ve never told anybody to hack a phone."
The case involves allegations that the publisher of the Mirror illegally gathered stories on high profile figures including the Duke of Sussex in order to generate stories.
A barrister representing Prince Harry claimed it was "inconceivable" that Morgan, and other editors had no knowledge of MGN Journalists instructing private investigators to gather information.
Before the trial, Mr Morgan was interviewed by the BBC’s Amol Rajan. During the interview, he claimed that phone hacking, the interception of voicemail messages, ‘was completely wrong’.
In the interview, he also claimed that phone hacking "shouldn’t have been happening" and claimed it was just "lazy journalists being lazy". Mr Morgan also said there was no evidence that he knew anything about it.
Morgan, who was the editor of the Daily Mirror for nine years from 1995 until 2004 also highlighted the fact that none of the journalists who worked with him at the Daily Mirror have been arrested in connection with phone hacking.
Speaking to BBC News, he said: "I’ve not been called to give evidence, I know nothing about it". Asked if he was worried about Prince Harry’s legal action, he said he "couldn’t give a monkey’s cuss”.
On Wednesday, MGN apologised to Prince Harry for one instance of information gathering. This is in regards to a story that appeared in the Sunday People back in 2004. Allegations of voicemail interception in cases being examined were denied.
A MGN spokesman said: "Where historical wrongdoing has taken place we have made admissions, take full responsibility and apologise unreservedly, but we will vigorously defend against allegations of wrongdoing where our journalists acted lawfully.
"MGN is now part of a very different company. We are committed to acting with integrity and our objective in this trial is to allow both the business and our journalists to move forward from events that took place many years ago."