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levensonletter

levensonletter

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Published by: guidofawkes on Aug 30, 2011
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07/10/2013

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Ms. Rowena Collins-RiceSecretary to the Leveson Inquiryc/o the Royal Courts of JusticeThe StrandLondonWC2A 2LL30 August, 2011
Sent by email and post.
Dear Ms.Collins-Rice
RE: PIERS MORGAN AS EXPERT WITNESS / CORE PARTICIPANT
According to Rule Five of the Inquiries Rules (2006) core participants of an inquiry must have:
“...played, or may have played, a direct and significant role in relation to the matters towhich the inquiry relates;(b)the person has a significant interest in an important aspect of the matters towhich the inquiry relates; or (c)the person may be subject to explicit or significant criticism during the inquiry  proceedings or in the report, or in any interim report.” 
Given that Piers Morgan is a former employee of the
Sun
and editor of thethe
News of the World 
and the
Mirror 
, his expertise in ways of the tabloids will surely be of interest to the Leveson Inquiry.He has spoken widely and knowledgeably on the subject of phone-hacking and we believe he canpersonally provide evidence that renders him appropriate for core participant status.By way of example consider Morgan's evidence to Parliament’s Culture Media and Sport SelectCommittee in 2003:
“I think, the working practices of a daily tabloid newspaper, of actually what goes on,you need to understand… in my view, there is very little difference now between theway the tabloids operate and the broadsheet newspapers.” 
The inquiry would without doubt benefit from more information as to what exactly these“tactics” entailed. While phone-hacking was rife across Fleet Street Morgan told Parliament:
“I have never known standards to be higher than they are today, particularly inrelation to how we deal with ordinary people. I have never known it better.” 
F : 070 9201 2337 E : team@sunlight-cops.org.ukA campaign advocating political transparency and openness.
 
Yet data from “Operation Motorman” reveals that the Mirror Group paid private investigators some£442,878.73 to illegally procure personal data like tax records, DVLA records, medical and phonerecords. Sixty-five invoices for criminal transactions can be traced back directly to Piers Morgan’s
Daily Mirror 
during his time as editor. This is at a time when he told the CMS committee he shouldbe
“congratulated” 
for cleaning up the paper and operating the Press Complaints Commission’sCode of Practice
“effectively and seriously” 
.The inquiry would benefit from hearing exactly how this contradiction arose and it is not just the“Operation Motorman”data that leads to questions arising about the
Mirror 
under Piers Morgan.Not only has he spoken about both the theory and the practice of phone-hacking but former employees have lifted the lid.
“Many of the Daily Mirror’s stories would come from hacking into acelebrity’s voicemail,” 
James Hipwell said of his time at the
Mirror 
between 1998 and his sackingin early 2000. Morgan was editor from 1995 to 2004. Hipwell also said:
I used to see it going on around me all the time when I worked at the Daily Mirror. I sat right next to the show business desk and there were some show biz reporters who did it asa matter of course, as a basic part of their working day. One of their bosses would wander up and instruct a reporter to `trawl the usual suspects’, which meant going through thevoice messages of celebrities and celebrity PR agents. For everyone to pretend that this issome isolated activity found only at the News of the World is ridiculous, it’s just a lie.” 
During a June 2009 appearance on
‘Desert Island Discs’ 
on Radio Four with Kirsty Young, Morganwas asked directly about phone-hacking
KY:
 And what about this nice middle class boy who would have to be dealing with I meanessentially people who rake through people’s bins for a living…
PM:
Well I…
KY:
People who tap peoples phones , people who take secret photographs…
PM:
I know but…
KY:
…who do all that very nasty down in the gutter stuff, how did you feel about that? 
PM:
Well to be honest lets put that in to perspective as well, not a lot of that went on. A lot of it was done…
KY:
Really? 
PM:
 A lot of it was done by third parties, rather than the staff themselves, that’s not todefend it, because obviously you were running the results of their work. I’m quite happy tobe parked in the corner of tabloid beast and to have to sit here and defend all the things I used to get up to and I make no pretence about the stuff we used to do. I simply say the net of people doing it was very wide and a certainly encompassed the high and the low end of the supposed newspaper market.
Just six months ago Morgan told
GQ
magazine:
F : 070 9201 2337 E : team@sunlight-cops.org.ukA campaign advocating political transparency and openness.

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