LONDON – Contradicting testimony by Piers Morgan, a former reporter said in a British inquiry that phone hacking was considered a “standard journalistic tool” at the tabloid.

Former Daily Mirror business columnist James Hipwell’s testimony on Wednesday clashed with Morgan’s insistence a day earlier that he did not know the practice was used during his time as editor from 1995 to 2004.

Hipwell was fired from the paper in 2000 and later convicted of buying low-priced shares before recommending them in his popular City Slickers column.

He gave his statement to a panel that is looking into ethical standards and practices of journalism in Britain.