Piers Morgan “Must Have Known”

Andrew Sullivan —  Dec 21 2011 @ 2:32pm

The testimony of one James Hipwell, a former colleague of Piers Morgan at the Daily Mirror, is pretty devastating. Ethics were not exactly a Morgan concern:

This is not a subject which was an overriding concern for any of the senior editors.

The phone hacking was endemic at Morgan’s paper under his editorship:

I saw it on a daily basis in 1999, especially the latter half, when I would go as far as to say it happened every day… it seemed to be fair play as a means to get a story.

How could Morgan not have known?

He was the newspaper. It was all about Piers and I think he did a very good job … Looking at his style of editorship, I would say it was very unlikely that he didn’t know it was going on because there wasn’t ever much he didn’t know about. He took a very keen interest in the work of his journalists. Showbusiness is very close to his heart… He stamped his authority on every single page. The newspaper was built around the cult of Piers. He was extremely hands on. Nothing happened at the newspaper without him knowing.

So either Hipwell is lying under oath or Morgan is. Hence this:

The Daily Mirror’s counsel, Desmond Browne QC, is arguing that many of the allegations against his clients have not been able to be properly challenged. He describes Hipwell as “an acknowledged liar”.

Hipwell indeed ran an insider trading scheme when he was the Mirror’s financial columnist under Morgan, a scheme he claims Morgan was in on. He served two months in jail. Meanwhile, Lady McCartney makes it perfectly clear that she never gave Morgan permission to listen to voicemail messages from her husband:

Heather Mills has issued a statement claiming that she could “categorically state” she had “never ever” played Piers Morgan “a tape of any kind, never mind a voice message from my ex-husband”. That directly contradicts the implication from Morgan’s evidence yesterday.