Is Piers next on the chopping block?

Though most eyes remain fixed on News International, Piers Morgan’s time as editor of the Daily Mirror is coming under the spotlight over phone hacking.

Despite the resignation of Rebekah Brooks it looks like the true extent of phone hacking in the British media is only just beginning to unravel. It will come as no surprise to most that the News of the World is not the only paper were misdeeds are alleged to have occurred, with Piers Morgan’s time as editor of the Daily Mirror currently under the spotlight.

Attention is now turning to how the Mirror obtained their exclusive, prize winning exposé of the affair between Ulrika Jonsson and Sven-Göran Eriksson, with critics of Morgan alleging the exclusive was a direct result of phone hacking and that he was not only aware of the illegal activity, but encouraged its use.

Further criticism is based on the following extract from his diary, which was originally traced by Guido Fakwes:

“Apparently if you don’t change the standard security code that every phone comes with, then anyone can call your number and, if you don’t answer, tap in the standard four digit code to hear all your messages.

“I’ll change mine just in case, but it makes me wonder how many public figures and celebrities are aware of this little trick.”

The allegations have been overshadowed by the media focus on News International and are yet to gain significant coverage in the UK press, with only the Daily Express choosing to focus on the allegations. Whether this will change remains to be seen, although Brooks’s resignation is likely to keep the news cycle firmly fixed on News International for the time being.

The crusade has instead been led by Guido Fawkes, who continues to be at the forefront of new developments, as evidenced by his latest revelation, that the current editor of the Sunday Mirror, Tina Weaver, has been accused of phone hacking by Max Keiser, a Russia Today reporter, and that Morgan is similarly implicated.

In light of these developments, MPs have been quick to call for Morgan to appear before the judge-led inquiry into phone hacking and he is almost certain to be called. If further allegations arise it is likely to draw other news groups into a mire they desperately want to avoid.

Trinity Mirror are currently standing behind their former employee, having issued a statement strenuously denying the allegations:

“Trinity Mirror’s position is clear. Our journalists work within the criminal law and the PCC code of conduct.”

Should further evidence be presented, it is not yet known whether the group will continue to back him or attempt to isolate the incident and protect their shareholders by pinning the blame entirely on Morgan.

On the other side of the pond, the allegations have drawn more attention with CNN, Morgan’s current employers drawing flak from other US news organisations for refusing to comment on the allegations. Piers is also keeping his head down and declined to comment when contacted by the Express.

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