[LIVE] Piers Morgan at Leveson Inquiry

Piers Morgan, former editor of the Daily Mirror and News of the World, turned TV presenter, will appear at the Leveson Inquiry today via video link.

Five other witnesses will appear today including- Julian Pike, a partner at law firm Farrer & Co, used by News International to negotiate phone hacking settlements. Sharon Marshall, former NOTW TV editor, she is expected to talk about her book Tabloid Girl, and Matthew Driscoll, a former sports journalist at the paper.

Piers Morgan is not expected until this afternoon, as he will be speaking from Los Angeles.

LIVE BLOG:

17:15 Leveson Inquiry has now finished for the day.

17:13: PM "I would just like to say that this is like a rock star having an album brought out from his back catalogue of his worst ever hits" - that much of the excellent journalism that was going on during this period is not being mentioned.
Lord Justice Leveson assures PM that this is being mentioned throughout the inquiry.

17:07 Steven Nott contacted the Daily Mirror in August 1998 with information about phone hacking. Una Blackman, then special projects editor, was initially very excited - told him it would be one of the biggest stories of the decade. She then came back to him saying the newspaper was not interested at all.
Mr. Nott became concerned when the story was not published that the newspaper would use the information to hack phones. In September 1998, despite his story not being run, Mr. Nott received a £100 cheque from the Daily Mirror.
PM says this is nonsense.

17:00 PM confirms that he had 56 one-on-one meetings with Tony Blair, occasionally Alastair Campbell was present. They discussed the position of the newspaper PM was working for with regards to its position on Labour, supporting or against.

16:51 PM on celebrities and privacy - not entitled to privacy if you yourself use your privacy for commercial gains, eg. selling wedding photographs for millions.

16:49 Morgan admits that doctoring pictures of Diana and Dodi was a stupid thing to do.

16:47 PM says he was "playing God with peoples" lives when editor of NOTW. He previously said he hasn't suffered sleepless nights, but he can feel them coming. Confirms that this is an accurate description of working as editor of a tabloid.

16:43 A journalist was put under cover as a footman at Buckingham Palace - PM's reaction "rather us than a terrorist".

16:33 PM admits to buying £67,000 worth of shares in Viglen the day before the Daily Mirror received a tip.

16:28 Jamie Hipwell, former NOTW journalist - Mr Morgan would regularly send out all staff emails saying that not enough exclusives were being brought in, and that his tone was menacing. PM admits, but says tone not menacing.

16:19 PM says he did not listen to Ulrika Jonsson's voicemail messages.

16:15 Judge Leveson says he is happy to ask Heather Mills whether she gave PM permission to listen to her voicemail message. PM refuses to say anything that may reveal the source that played him the message.

16:13 Admits that he has listened to a voicemail message from Paul McCartney to Heather Mills, having previously denied listening to any recorded messages. Refuses to accept that listening to a private message is unethical.

16:08 PM defending his statement that Clive Goodman was made a scapegoat for a very widespread practice, and that loads of newspapers doing it. Says this has all been proved true, but how did he know that at the time if it was only rumours?

16:05 Said in an interview with GQ in April 2007 that it was "pretty well known" how to hack a mobile phone, and that it is not as serious as putting a bug in someone's house as someone people are implying. He says he was aware of how to hack a phone in 2001.

15:58 Kirsty Young asked PM about phone tapping, bin rummaging, paparazzi on Desert Island Discs in 2009 - PM said that third parties took part rather than the staff themselves. Is now claiming he did not hear Kirsty Young say phone tapping at the time, and that he was not admitting that this went on at the Daily Mirror at the time. PM says he was referring to investigative practices in general terms.

15:52 PM claims he was not aware of what his journalists were doing.
PM says he was not aware of £52,000-80,000 of expenditure for stories.

15:48 PM says the Guardian have appointed themselves the "Bishops of Fleet Street", and that he believes they acquire news in a similar way to 'Benji the Bin Man', in that they go through what the tabloids say and reuse it without having to pay for it.

15:47 Confirms the use of 'Benji the Bin Man', and also recognises the unethical nature of acquiring information this way.

15:46 PM has no recollection of personal involvement in the use of private investigators at NOTW. He does refer to the use of private investigators at the Daily Mirror, but says he was not directly involved, it was down to the newsdesk, editors, and journalists. PM believed all staff were aware they had to operate within the law.

15:40 PM confirms his statement that it goes without saying that he worked within the Code of Practice.

15:37 Piers Morgan being asked how accurate his diaries are as a historical record. He says they are not absolutely accurate, however they are his best recollection

15:29 Piers Morgan about to give evidence.

15:17 Refer to the demise of local media as at a critical point.

"It's really all about money".

15:15 Clamping down on investigative journalism will make the "media a poorer place".

14:57 "There is a big discussion going on in tabloid newsrooms about privacy."

Now referring to restraint showed by press following Diana's death, however this restraint did not last.

14:53 "Hugely heightened sensitivity on the part of journalists" already noticeable as a result of the Leveson Inquiry.

14:36 It is known that paparazzis act in teams, for example one provokes a celebrities, while the other takes pictures. Also chasing, on foot and in vehicles. They make clear that this is not acceptable of NAPA members.

14:33 Suggesting that there needs to be a revision of who can be given a press card, that identity of press card holders should be known, and even CRB checks should be considered when press cards are issued or renewed.

14:31 According to Johnson the demand from newspapers is for celebrity stories and news agencies have to follow that agenda.

14:20 Matthew Bell is now giving evidence. He is the chairman of the National Association of Press Agencies and is also the co-owner of the Ferrari news agency. He is giving evidence alongside Chris Johnson, the treasurer of the NAPA (National Association of Press Agencies).

13:13 Miss Marshall's book, Tabloid Girl, ends with the line "F**k the facts, just file". Barr asked her if this was representative of the attitude of a section of the industry. She repeated that such behaviour is not the norm, it is representative of a few individuals, "bad apples".

13:07 Sharon Marshall is questioned over other journalists' comments that Tabloid Girl provides an accurate account of what really goes on behind the closed doors of a tabloid newspaper. Marshall continues to state that the information in the book is "heightened reality".

12:53 "reality TV spawned this instant fight for news"

12:46 Another story she gives in her book concerns a member of the band Steps. The headline was "My five, six, seven times a night with Steps girl". Prior to the story being written, an advert was compiled for the front page. Marshall was instructed to go to Rhyl to find someone who would stand it up.The "ad started running before the story [had been stood up]. Four or five journalists were assigned to find somebody ... the headline was pre-ordained, yes"

12:31 Now speaking about fiddling of expenses amongst journalists. Marshall says she is sure this happens in all businesses.

12:17 Marshall is now being asked about a reporter who had "done drugs with a soap star". The reporter is now dead and Marshall does not name him in her testimony.

Was it acceptable to taking drugs with targets of stories?

12:01 Marshall having to stress that her book, Tabloid Girl, is in fact fiction, despite its marketing as a true story. Stories are exaggerated or made up, a "dramatisation" of what she experienced working in the industry.

11:24 "There are bad apples in every newspaper".

11:20 Describes intense pressure on reporters, especially so-called 'shifters', who work for just 24-hours at a time. Have to come up with a story for another shift, and hopefully secure a staff job.

11:15 Marshall resigned over a refusal to run with a story she felt was in breach of the PCC code. She had been asked to approach a celebrity who was pregnant at the time and inform her that there was evidence that her partner had cheated. Marshall believed the evidence to be false, and no longer felt she could work for the paper.

11:11 Marshall says bullying is not rife in newspapers. Is a matter of individual personalities, not the industry as a whole.

11:05 Sharon Marshall, former NOTW TV editor, is giving evidence.

10:57
Given commercial pressures it is not surprising that journalists cut corners in order to get first class stories, without the resources needed to do so.
10:56
Bullying is backed up by management, nothing ever happens in these cases because management back eachother up.
10:57
Given commercial pressures it is not surprising that journalists cut corners in order to get first class stories, without the resources needed to do so.
10:56
Bullying is backed up by management, nothing ever happens in these cases because management back eachother up.
10:51
"What we really need is that journalists to use their collective power through their unions to change working practices."
10:57
Given commercial pressures it is not surprising that journalists cut corners in order to get first class stories, without the resources needed to do so.
10:56
Bullying is backed up by management, nothing ever happens in these cases because management back eachother up.
10:51
"What we really need is that journalists to use their collective power through their unions to change working practices."
10:57
Given commercial pressures it is not surprising that journalists cut corners in order to get first class stories, without the resources needed to do so.
10:56
Bullying is backed up by management, nothing ever happens in these cases because management back eachother up.
10:51
"What we really need is that journalists to use their collective power through their unions to change working practices."
10:51
In the last three to four years about 15 people have come to Turner with serious cases of bullying.
10:45
Steve Turner is giving evidence ahead of Piers Morgan's appearance.
Turner, working for the NUJ, represented Matthew Driscoll, former NOTW sports journalist.
He has spoken of mass fabrication of stories, bullying in newsrooms, and nervous breakdowns as commonplace.
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