Alastair Campbell yesterday told a court that ‘two-faced’ Piers Morgan had hacked into his bank account.
He accused the former Daily Mirror editor of snooping on his private finances while pretending to be a friend and supporter.
He told the High Court he had been shown invoices suggesting that in 1999 Mr Morgan’s newspaper paid a private investigator to ‘fish into my bank account and mortgage affairs’. He said the same individual was used to expose the Peter Mandelson home loan scandal in 1998.
Mr Campbell claimed the Mirror had hoped to find ‘something newsworthy’ in his own bank accounts too. The 65-year-old was a Mirror journalist in the 1980s and 1990s, but said he did not witness any phone hacking.
Alastair Campbell leaves the High Court with his partner Fiona Millar yesterday
He became No 10 press chief when Sir Tony won power in 1997, and yesterday he told the High Court that the Mandelson scandal had damaged the Labour government.
He claimed: ‘Mr Morgan’s two-faced conduct, in purporting to be a real ally of the prime minister and the Labour government, while all the time, he and his senior team were using illegal means to find stories designed to destabilise that government, compounds the anger I feel about this.’
The Mirror denies all the allegations Prince Harry and three other claimants are bringing as part of a seven-week trial. Mr Morgan has strenuously denied hacking. Mr Campbell’s evidence in court was confined to the alleged bank hacking incident. He was not asked anything about the Duke of Sussex, who is bringing the case.
Mr Campbell was a defining figure in Sir Tony’s decade in power and present at several of the Labour leader’s meetings with Harry’s mother, Princess Diana.
He has said how Diana once directly challenged him on his time as a Mirror journalist and asked ‘why I had written harsh things about her when I was a newspaper columnist’.
He admitted ‘there were some people whose fame becomes so large that we in the media cease to see them as human beings’.