CNN chat-show host Piers Morgan last night denied claims by Conservative MP Louise Mensch that he engaged in phone hacking while working at the Daily Mirror.
The MP for Corby made the allegation at a culture, media and sport select committee earlier in the day that Morgan had boasted of phone hacking winning him an award in his book The Insider.
Making reference to a passage in the book in which Morgan refers to a “little trick” that would enable someone so inclined to “listen to all your messages”, Mensch claimed that the technique had netted Morgan an award-winning scoop about Sven-Goran Eriksson.
However, Morgan says that he made the references to telephonic trickery in regards to suspicion that he himself had been a victim of phone hacking.
The former Britain’s Got Talent judge engaged in an extraordinary nine-minute argument with Mensch during an early evening CNN news programme in which the MP refused to repeat her claims, citing parliamentary privilege, which protects MPs from libel action for anything said in the House of Commons.
“To repeat something outside of parliament does not give me that cloak of privilege,” said Mensch, before noting that “Mr Morgan is a very rich man.”
Despite being unable to prompt the MP into repeating what she’d said, Morgan hit back, saying, “I’m quite sure they’ll be looking into you abusing parliamentary privilege and telling lies.”
“I feel no need whatsoever to apologise,” claimed the MP.