Daily Mail{jcomments off}A former journalist for the Daily Mirror has alleged that phone-hacking routinely took place at the tabloid newspaper.

James Hipwell, who worked on the tabloid as its financial journalist, has alleged that phone-hacking was not just confined to the News of the World – it ‘routinely’ took place at other newspapers as well including the Daily Mirror. So far the allegations concerning phone-hacking have been limited to the News of the World but there has been speculation for some time that the practice was wider spread on ‘Fleet Street’ than just the News International title.

In an interview with The Independent Hipwell stated he was aware that reporters would listen to the voice-mail messages of celebrities to get scopes and would even delete the messages to prevent other newspapers from getting stories.

“You know what people around you are doing. They would call a celebrity with one phone and when it was answered they would then hang up. By that stage, the other phone would be into the voicemail and they would key in the code, 9999 or 0000. I saw that a lot.” It was seen as a bit of a wheeze – something that was slightly underhand but something many of them did. What a laugh. After they’d hacked into someone’s mobile, they’d delete the message so another paper couldn’t get the story. There was great hilarity about it.” – James Hipwell speaking to the Independent.

Hipwell worked for the Daily Mirror during Piers Morgan’s tenure as editor. Earlier this week Morgan, now a chat-show host on ITV and CNN, categorically denied any link to phone-hacking at the Daily Mirror. Morgan got into an argument, on CNN, with Tory MP Louise Mensch over her comments at a parliament select committee in which she linked phone-hacking to the tabloid newspaper.

Trinity Mirror, the company behind the Daily Mirror, released a statement saying “Our journalists work within the criminal law and the PCC (Press Complaints Commission) code of conduct.” Hipwell was jailed in 2006 for several months for pocketing thousands of pounds by purchasing low-priced shares, recommending them to readers in his column and then selling the shares as the price rose.

(Via The Guardian)

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