Political Promise can exclusively reveal that Piers Morgan, the former editor of the Daily Mirror newspaper, will be investigated by the Metropolitan Police over allegations of phone hacking. Allie Wickham reports.
At present, Operation Weeting – the investigation into the interception of voicemail messages by newspapers and private detectives – has been limited to the News of the World and the activities of convicted hacker Glen Mulcaire. This morning a senior source with intimate knowledge of the police investigation, and whose credibility is without doubt, told us that he expects Operation Weeting to widen its remit to include Mirror Group newspapers. It is our understanding that this will happen over the next few weeks. Our source also indicated to us that any investigation of Mirror Group will focus upon allegations of wrongdoing by former journalists and editors at the Daily Mirror and Sunday Mirror. Crucially, that includes Piers Morgan.
Mr. Morgan has been under increasing pressure during recent weeks. First, allegations concerning former England football manager Sven-Goran Eriksson were thrust into the public domain by Conservative MP Louise Mensch. Then libertarian firebrand Guido Fawkes seemed to find proof of his involvement in illegality. Last week the BBC’s flagship current affairs programme Newsnight reported claims that the Mirror hacked the voicemail messages of Heather Mills and Sir Paul McCartney under his editorship. Three MPs – John Whittingdale, Harriet Harman and Therese Coffey – called for Mr. Morgan to return to the UK to ‘help the police with their enquiries’; calls the New York-based CNN anchor simply ignored.
Political Promise understands that there are dozens more allegations of the utmost seriousness – involving both phone hacking and corruption – that are yet to come to light. A second source, who has followed the story closely and taken a key role in exploring the evidence against Mirror Group, has intimated that he believes Mr. Morgan to be in regular contact with his lawyers. It looks like he will be needing them more than ever over the coming weeks.
It must be noted for legal reasons that Mr. Morgan denies that he has ever hacked a phone, authorised the hacking of a phone, or knowingly published a story obtained through phone hacking.