Wednesday, July 27, 2011

#Hackgate #Piers 'I had no knowledge'#Morgan and his connection to Lord Sugar...

One of the largest ever criminal investigations into British financial journalism began with reports in rival newspapers that the then Mirror editor, Piers Morgan, had bought shares in Viglen, a computer firm part-owned and run by Sir Alan Sugar, himself a columnist for the paper.

Mr Morgan said he bought the shares not knowing they were to be the subject of a story for the following day. The story, about Viglen developing an internet business, caused the shares to double in value.

In his diaries Mr Morgan acknowledged he had been "naive and silly" but said he was "not a crook". He was questioned extensively by the Department of Trade and Industry but no charges were brought. The Press Complaints Commission, meanwhile, found his conduct "had fallen short".

The Mirror's law firm Lovells had already conducted its own inquiry and found "no grounds for any accusations of impropriety or wrongdoing" against Mr Morgan. The company stood by the editor - despite observance of the PCC code of conduct being written into his contract - and sacked the two City Slickers tipsters for gross misconduct.

The trial of Hipwell has seen yet more evidence emerge as to the conduct of Mr Morgan and others - some of which appears to be at odds with, or missing from, the PCC's findings and the former Mirror editor's diaries. It is as follows: