Q. Wasn't the true position something along these lines: that there were rumours going around in the press, which you well knew about, which were suggesting that phone hacking was occurring on a fairly systematic basis in the Mirror's titles? Is that right or not?
A. There were rumours in the industry. There's always rumours in the industry about various methods, but this wasn't based upon any evidence at all. It was just the Fleet Street rumour mill.
Q. Did those rumours encompass the Sun, for whom of course you were working in 2002?
A. I can't remember. It was a very long time ago, clearly. I can't remember the specifics of the rumours.
The Leveson Inquiry, 20 December 2011. Robert Jay QC questions former Mirror editor Piers Morgan:
Q. Do you remember an interview in which you said: "As for Clive Goodman, I feel a lot of sympathy for a man who has been the convenient fall guy for an investigative practice that everyone knows was going on at almost every paper in Fleet Street for years."
Q. Why did you say that?
A. Well, that was the rumour mill at the time. I mean, it was exploding around Fleet Street...I was hearing these rumours like everybody else.
Q. Did the rumour mill you're referring to embrace your newspaper as being amongst the perpetrators?
A. Not that I remember, no.