“I know of no cases of phone hacking,” the Mail Editor-in-chief Paul Dacre told the Leveson Inquiry. “Having conducted a major internal inquiry, I am as convinced as I can be that there is no phone hacking on the Daily Mail. I don’t make that statement lightly.” Today’s news that Piers was questioned under police caution late last year is the closest Associated Newspapers have come to being tainted by hacking, even though Morgan’s alleged involvement/knowledge stretches back to a time when he was working for a rival news group.
“Piers Morgan’s role as a Mail on Sunday columnist must surely come under pressure now” says an insider at the paper who has knowledge of Morgan’s vast salary, secured when editor Geordie Greig’s predecessor Peter Wright was in charge. “Geordie didn’t hire Morgan, so he shouldn’t find it a problem to release him. It’s a piss poor column anyway.”
Could Dacre and the increasingly influential Lady Rothermere, wife of the proprietor, find themselves in rare agreement in believing that any association with Morgan is bad for business as long as he has a hacking cloud hanging over him? And heaven knows how CNN took the news.