Piers Morgan feels heat over hacking claims


Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and TV personality Piers Morgan attend The Hollywood Reporter Big 10 Party at the Getty House on February 24, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.


Kevin Winter

CNN talk show host Piers Morgan is facing calls by British politicians to return home to the UK and answer questions about the phone hacking scandal.

Morgan, a former editor of tabloid newspaper The Daily Mirror, is facing allegations that his newspaper hacked into the phone of Heather Mills, the former wife of Beatle Paul McCarthy.

John Whittingdale, the Conservative chairman of the parliamentary media committee which quizzed Rupert Murdoch last month over hacking, said Morgan had some "very serious questions to answer".

Mills on BBC television claimed that a senior journalist at the Mirror Group of newspapers admitted in 2001 to hacking her voicemail – but said it was not Morgan, who was editor at the time.

In a statement, Morgan said Mills's claims was "unsubstantiated" and said the BBC had informed him that the journalist she had identified was not employed by the Daily Mirror

"I have never hacked a phone, told anyone to hack a phone, nor to my knowledge published any story obtained from the hacking of a phone."

Morgan tried to make light of calls for him to return and face an inquiry. He tweeted, "So heart-warming that everyone in UK's missing me so much they want me to come home.#swoon."