The Daily Mirror has apologised to Prince Harry for ordering the unlawful gathering of information in the Royal’s latest phone hacking trial.

The apology came on the first day of the Duke of Sussex’s legal action against Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN).

The publisher admitted there is “some evidence” of unlawful information gathering (UIG) in relation to a High Court challenge brought by the Duke of Sussex that “warrants compensation”.

In court documents released at the start of a trial in London, Mirror Group Newspapers said it “unreservedly apologises” for instances of unlawful information gathering, which the publisher said “will never be repeated”.

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The group denies involvement in the instance of one of the other cases claimants, Michael Turner.

The statements form part of the publisher’s defence to claims brought by Harry and other individuals over alleged unlawful information gathering at MGN titles.

Andrew Green KC, representing the publisher, said in the written arguments that it denied allegations of voicemail interception in the cases being examined during the trial. The barrister also said some of the challenges it faces have been brought beyond a legal time limit.

Mr Green said “there is some evidence of the instruction of third parties to engage in other types of UIG in respect of each of the claimants” except for the case of actor Michael Turner whose claim is “entirely denied”.

He added: “MGN unreservedly apologises for all such instances of UIG, and assures the claimants that such conduct will never be repeated.

“This apology is not made with the tactical objective of reducing damages, MGN accepts that an apology at this stage will not have that effect, but is made because such conduct should never have occurred.”