At the Leveson Inquiry this afternoon, Jeremy Paxman described a lunch in 2002 at which Piers Morgan affected to recite hacked voicemail messages. Adopting a fake Swedish accent, Morgan addressed Ulrika Jonsson while supposedly quoting from her then lover Sven Goran Eriksson.
Morgan then went on to describe phone hacking to Paxman:
“It was clearly something he was familiar with.”
When Morgan was quizzed by Robert Jay about the lunch in question, when he appeared before the inquiry, he claimed not to remember the incidents.
“Q. Did you listen to Ulrika Johnson’s voicemail messages in relation to Sven Goran Eriksson?”
“A. No, I did not.”
“Q. Do you recall a lunch at the Daily Mirror on 20 September 2002 when you advised Ulrika Johnson to change her PIN number and you started mimicking her Swedish accent?”
“A. No, I don’t remember the specifics. I think I remember her coming to a lunch.”
“Q. Might you have advised her to change her PIN number?”
“A. I don’t recall anything like that.”
His treatment of Jonsson was described as “close to bullying”.