A former Daily Mirror royal editor said her former boss Piers Morgan would “inject” information into her stories without explaining where it was from.

Jane Kerr was giving evidence in Prince Harry’s hacking case against Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN).

He claims the papers unlawfully obtained private information about him, which MGN denies.

Mr Morgan has consistently said no illegal newsgathering happened on his watch.

Ms Kerr, who worked for the Daily Mirror’s royal team from 1996 to 2007, told the High Court that Mr Morgan would add snippets of information into stories she had authored.

She said he might have been speaking to “someone at the palace” but she would not know who.

Ms Kerr added that Mr Morgan, who was editor of the paper from 1995 to 2004, took a “really genuine interest” in the coverage.

In her written witness statement, Ms Kerr said he “engaged with the Palace press offices and would occasionally direct or inject information into a story”.

Prince Harry alleges about 140 articles published between 1996 and 2010 by MGN – the publisher of the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and the People – contained information gathered using unlawful methods.

A sample of 33 stories are being scrutinised during this case, a number of which were written by Ms Kerr.

She was asked about a story reporting that a young Prince Harry had taken drugs at parties, which included reports that Prince Charles had been “hugely relieved” to have been told his son had only used cannabis “spliffs”.

Prince Harry’s barrister, David Sherborne, put it to her that this was private information which could have been obtained from listening to voicemail messages, asking: “Where did you get the quotes from Ms Kerr?”

She replied: “I can’t say for sure where I got them from, I can’t remember – it’s possible Piers gave them to me, it’s possible the Palace. I don’t remember.”

Mr Sherborne responded: “You’re saying the Palace would have given you what Prince Charles said in highly sensitive meetings with his son?”

She repeatedly said that she could not remember the sources of stories published decades ago.

The questioning has focused on additional details added by Ms Kerr while following up on stories already in other papers.

In March 2002, she wrote about Prince Harry catching glandular fever, reporting that “Harry’s friends and William have teased him about the illness because it is spread through saliva, usually by kissing”.

The prince told the court during his evidence that these suggestions were upsetting and embarrassing at the time as he was still at school.

Ms Kerr told the court she could have got the information from the Palace, despite the media having been told during this period that Prince Harry and Prince William were “off-limits” to reporters in the wake of the death of Princess Diana.

“You’re suggesting some Palace spokesperson would have casually tossed it to you as a little morsel to add colour to your story?” Mr Sherborne asked.

When she said she did not know where it had come from and could easily have been a

“throwaway line”, Mr Sherborne said: “That’s total speculation, isn’t it?”

Ms Kerr said she could not remember the details but would not have got it through any illegal means.

Mr Sherborne asked: “Or was this something Mr Morgan injected into the article?”

“Possibly but I just don’t know,” Ms Kerr replied.

Speaking to othe BBC ahead of the trial, Mr Morgan said: “I’ve never hacked a phone. I’ve never told anybody to hack a phone.”

He has poured scorn on Prince Harry’s decision to go to court, telling reporters: “I wish him luck with his privacy campaign and look forward to reading about it in his next book.”

Ms Kerr’s evidence follows a day-and-a-half of Prince Harry’s stint on the stand, the first time a senior royal has given evidence in court for more than 130 years.

He claims that phone hacking was happening on an “industrial scale” at MGN papers, and says illegal methods were used to gather information on him, including on highly private matters.

The case is due to hear from the other claimants involved alongside the prince – Coronation Street actors Michael Turner, known professionally as Michael Le Vell, Nikki Sanderson and Fiona Wightman, the ex-wife of comedian Paul Whitehouse.

They all allege unlawful methods were used to obtain information for stories and say senior executives must have known about it and failed to stop it, which MGN denies.

The publisher has either denied or not admitted each of the claims. MGN also argues that some of the claimants have brought their legal action too late.

Source: BBC

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