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The BBC's Nick Higham
"Fell below high standard"
 real 28k

Friday, 18 February, 2000, 18:03 GMT
Share scandal journalists sacked
City Slickers page
The column at the centre of the controversy
Two Mirror newspaper journalists at the centre of a share-tipping scandal have been sacked.

A spokesman for publishing group Trinity Mirror said City Slickers columnists Anil Bhoyrul and James Hipwell left following "disciplinary procedures".

In a statement, the group said its procedures surrounding share dealing by journalists at the Mirror "fell below the high standard that it expects".

Their column at the centre of the controversy, City Slickers, is also being scrapped.

However, it may yet appear elsewhere as James Steen, editor of Punch, said he had offered jobs to both Mr Bhoyrul and Mr Hipwell and he hoped to publish their first column, under the same name, next Wednesday.

Mr Bhoyrul said he was totally shocked by what had happened.

"I have been open about everything I have done. I have volunteered all the information and I am shocked by all this," he said.

Mirror editor Piers Morgan
Editor Piers Morgan: Still under investigation
Earlier, it emerged that Anthony Laiker, the stockbroker who acted on Mirror editor Piers Morgan's behalf in his share dealings, had left his post at brokers Kyte Securities.

Hilton Nathanson, chief executive at Kyte Securities, said the company had "mutually agreed" with Mr Laiker that "the interests of both parties would be best served by terminating his agreement with Kyte Group".

Mr Morgan bought 20,000 of shares in Viglen Technology the day before his paper's business page tipped them.

He denied knowing that the Mirror was featuring the shares. He has since sold them, promising to give his profits to charity.

An internal investigation by the newspaper's owners, Trinity Mirror, cleared him of any wrongdoing.

However, the stock exchange is carrying out an investigation into allegations of improper share dealing and Mr Morgan's activities are also the subject of an inquiry by the Press Complaints Commission (PCC).

New rules

Trinity Mirror said it was implementing new procedures to ensure that the PCC's code of practice was adhered to by all its staff.

"The board accepts that compliance with the PCC code would have been sufficient had it been wholly observed. This is accepted by the editor," it said.

The company said in future no editor, deputy editor or financial journalist at any of its national titles would be allowed to own shares - except shares in Trinity Mirror itself.

Editors, deputy editors and financial journalists at Trinity Mirror's regional newspapers are to be banned from owning shares in any company within their region.

A spokesman for the PCC said: "We will still be carrying on our investigation into Piers Morgan and Anil Bhoyrul over possible breaches of the industry's code of practice."

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04 Feb 00 |  UK
Mirror owners back Morgan
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