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Friday, 4 February, 2000, 18:02 GMT
Mirror owners back Morgan

Piers Morgan Piers Morgan: Still under investigation by PCC

The owners of the Mirror newspaper have stood by editor Piers Morgan after allegations of improper share dealings.

Trinity Mirror said an internal inquiry had cleared Mr Morgan of any wrongdoing over claims that he bought shares in Viglen Technology the day before his newspaper's City Slickers column tipped them to soar.

In a Stock Exchange statement, Trinity Mirror also said Mr Morgan had sold his shares in Viglen and would be donating the profit to charity.

Investigation ongoing

But Mr Morgan's share dealing is still the subject of an inquiry by the Press Complaints Commission.

On Friday the PCC announced it was also launching an investigation into share dealing by Anil Bhoyrul, a journalist on the City Slickers column.

The Commission confirmed it was investigating a complaint after allegations in The Guardian that Mr Bhoyrul tipped the restaurant group Belgo, in which he owns 10,000 shares.

Trinity Mirror said it had extended its internal inquiry following the report.

Code of Practice

The PCC's Code of Practice makes clear journalists "should not write about shares or securities in whose performance they know that they or their close families have a significant financial interest, without disclosing the interest to the editor or financial editor".

The code also states journalists should not use information they receive ahead of wider publication for their own financial advantage.

A spokesman for the PCC said: "We have had a complaint this morning and we will conduct an investigation at the same time as that already under way."

He added that the investigations into Mr Morgan and Mr Bhoyrul were expected to be complete by the end of March.

Trinity Mirror said it had commissioned an independent review of best practice "in regard to share dealings by employees within the newspaper industry".

Any recommendations for changes in existing procedures would be carried out by 18 February, the company said.

Separately, Mr Morgan has said he will make available to investigating bodies a list of all his share dealings since being appointed as editor of the Mirror in November 1995.

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02 Feb 00 |  UK
Mirror editor in shares controversy

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