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MP accuses Piers Morgan of hacking

Published: 8:50PM Wednesday July 20, 2011 Source: ONE News

Former British tabloid editor Piers Morgan has been drawn into the ongoing hacking scandal, after an MP at the select committee hearing accused him of "boasting" about hacking phones while he was editor of the Daily Mail.

MP Louise Mensch made the comments in the select committee hearing which cross-examined media mogul Rupert Murdoch and his son James and former News of the World editor Rebekan Brooks over allegations of years of voicemail hacking.

Mensch said that Morgan had boasted about using a 'little trick' to win a scoop of the year award.

"That is a former editor of the Daily Mirror being very open about his personal use of phone hacking," she said in the hearing.

Blogs had previously suggested that Morgan could be the first American journalist to be embroiled in the scandal. Morgan was editor of News of the World prior to Andy Coulson.

Coulson has since been arrested, along with several other journalists and editors suspected to have played a part in the phone hacking scandal that is sweeping Murdoch's British interests.

In Morgan's 2005 book, The Insider: The Private Diaries of a Scandalous Decade, he makes a brief reference to the practice of hacking, but only to say that he has learnt it is possible, and he is changing his phone's voicemail code.

Mensch was interviewed about the claim by CNN's Wolf Blitzer, only to say that her comments in the committee were protected by parliamentary privilege, and that she was unwilling to repeat the claim outside of the select committee.

Morgan then dialled into the show and accused Mensch of inaccuracy.

"I'm amused by her cowardice in refusing to repeat that allegation now that she's not in parliament covered by privilege," Morgan said during the on-air exchange.

Mensch refused to respond to Morgan's request.

The Daily Mirror is not owned by Rupert Murdoch's News International.