Piers Morgan: 'Prince Harry wouldn’t know truth if it slapped him around his California-tanned face'

Mr Morgan was The Daily Mirror’s editor between 1995 and 2004 Credit: PA

Piers Morgan alleged Prince Harry "wouldn’t know the truth if it slapped him around his California-tanned face", after a High Court judge accepted evidence that the former Daily Mirror editor knew journalists were involved in the practice.

His comments came after a ruling over phone-hacking claims brought against the newspaper’s publisher, Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN).

Mr Justice Fancourt concluded “there can be no doubt” that editors of MGN’s titles knew about voicemail interception, but did not tell the company’s board or chief executive about it.

Mr Morgan was The Daily Mirror’s editor between 1995 and 2004.

The judge’s findings came after a trial of cases brought against the publisher, including a partially successful claim by the Duke of Sussex which saw him awarded £140,600 in damages.

Piers Morgan responded to the decision in a speech outside his London home, here is his statement in full:

“Today a judge in the High Court in London has ruled on various cases including Prince Harry’s claim against Mirror Group Newspapers, where I was an editor until 2004.

“The judgment finds there is just one article relating to the prince published in The Daily Mirror during my entire nine-year tenure as editor that he thinks may have involved some unlawful information gathering.

“To be clear I had then, and still have, zero knowledge of how that particular story was gathered.

“All his other claims against the Daily Mirror under my leadership were rejected.

“With regard to the judge’s other references to me in his judgment, I also want to reiterate, as I’ve consistently said for many years now, I’ve never hacked a phone or told anybody else to hack a phone.

“And nobody has produced any actual evidence to prove that I did.

“I wasn’t called as a witness – this is important for people to know this – by either side in the case, nor was I asked to provide any statement.

“I would have very happily agreed to do either or both of those things had I been asked. Nor did I have a single conversation with any of the Mirror Group lawyers throughout the entire legal process.

Piers Morgan in 2002 when he was editor of the Daily Mirror Credit: Johnny Green/PA

“So I wasn’t able to respond to the many false allegations that were spewed about me in court by old foes of mine with an axe to grind, most of which, inexplicably, were not even challenged in my absence by the Mirror Group counsel.

“But I note the judge appears to have believed the evidence of Omid Scobie, who lied about me in his new book, and he lied about me in court, and the whole world now knows him to be a deluded fantasist.

“And he believed the evidence of Alastair Campbell, another proven liar who spun this country into an illegal war.

“Finally, I want to say this: Prince Harry’s outrage at media intrusion into the private lives of the royal family is only matched by his own ruthless, greedy, and hypocritical enthusiasm for doing it himself.

“He talked today about the appalling behaviour of the press but this is a guy who’s repeatedly trashed his family in public for hundreds of millions of dollars, even as two of its most senior and respected members were dying – his grandparents.

“It’s hard to imagine, frankly, more appalling behaviour than that.

“As for him saying this is a good day for truth, the duke has been repeatedly exposed in recent years as someone who wouldn’t know the truth if it slapped him around his California-tanned face.

“He demands accountability for the press but refuses to accept any for himself for smearing the royal family, his own family, as a bunch of callous racists without producing a shred of proof to support those disgraceful claims.

“He also says he’s on a mission to reform the media, when it’s become clear his real mission, along with his wife, is to destroy the British monarchy.

“And I will continue to do whatever I can to stop them.

“Merry Christmas.”

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