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Mills: I never played voicemail from McCartney for Morgan

HEATHER Mills yesterday denied playing Piers Morgan a telephone message from her ex-husband, Paul McCartney.

In a statement, Ms Mills directly contradicted evidence that Mr Morgan gave to the Leveson Inquiry into journalistic standards in the UK.

She said she could "categorically state" she had "never ever" played Mr Morgan, the former editor of the 'Daily Mirror' and 'News of the World', "a tape of any kind, never mind a voice message from my ex-husband".

The statement undermined Mr Morgan's bullish performance at the inquiry, which was also called into question by evidence from a former employee.

James Hipwell, who was convicted and jailed for share price manipulation, said Mr Morgan must have known about mobile phone hacking by journalists working for him as it was so commonplace.

He told the inquiry that hacking was so widespread it was "a bog-standard journalistic tool".

Hipwell, who was described during the hearing as "an acknowledged liar", said he had seen showbusiness reporters for the paper hack phones "every day" to get stories and said Mr Morgan must have known about it.

He said: "Looking at his style of editorship, I would say it was very unlikely that he didn't know it was going on because there wasn't ever much he didn't know about.

"He took a very keen interest in the work of his journalists. Showbusiness is very close to his heart."

He also disclosed that a colleague had attempted to hack the phone of Mr Morgan himself but he did not know if it had been successful.

Mr Morgan, who hosts a chat show on the CNN network in the US, insisted on Tuesday that he had never listened to illegally obtained telephone messages.

Instead, he suggested that a private message left by Mr McCartney on his former wife Ms Mills's voicemail, which was played to him and featured the musician singing 'We can Work it Out', had been leaked by her.

The inquiry was adjourned until January 9. (©Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent