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October 6, 2014

Piers Morgan hits back at Private Eye ‘hatchet job’ linking him to phone-hacking at Sunday Mirror

By William Turvill

Piers Morgan has denied a Private Eye story saying he was editor-in-chief of the Sunday Mirror at the time of alleged phone-hacking.

He described the magazine's Street of Shame story from last week as a "hatchet job" and denied any involvement in phone-hacking.

He told The Guardian: “To this day not a single journalist who worked for me has been arrested or charged in connection with any offence at the Daily Mirror."

Morgan was editor of the Daily Mirror for a decade, to May 2004.

Press Gazette reported that Morgan was "effectively editor-in-chief" of both Mirror titles in April 2001.

MGN managing director Mark Haysom said at the time: "No one should doubt the achievement of Piers and his team in rejuvenating the Mirror. I now want to extend Piers' influence over the Mirror's sister title. He has worked closely with Tina [Weaver] in the past and will continue to do so in their new roles."

Morgan said he was looking forward, with Weaver, to bringing the papers together as "formidable editorial and commercial partners".

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At the time Morgan was not given the official editor-in-chief title.

Morgan also criticised Prime Minister David Cameron in the interview for not standing by convicted Andy Coulson, his former head of communications.

Coulson, former editor of the News of the World, was found guilty of conspiring with others to illegally access voicemails between and sent to prison for 18 months earlier this year.

Morgan said: “Cameron was one of Andy Coulson’s closest friends and both were incredibly embedded with each other. And at no stage has Cameron shown support for Andy, either publicly or privately, and I find that reprehensible."

Morgan, who left CNN in the summer, last week took up an editor-at-large role at Mail Online in the United States.

He declined to answer The Guardian's question over how much he is being paid to write three columns a week, saying the revelation would "only get you sandal wearers all upset".

Email pged@pressgazette.co.uk to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

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