Hislop attacks Marr on privacy gag
Private Eye editor Ian Hislop has accused the BBC's Andrew Marr of hypocrisy after he admitted taking out a controversial super-injunction while working as a journalist.
Mr Marr, the corporation's former political editor, won a High Court order in January 2008 to silence the press following his extra-marital affair with another national newspaper reporter.
Mr Hislop, who has been fighting the so-called gagging order and challenged the injunction only last week, condemned the suppression of reporting as "a touch hypocritical".
"As a leading BBC interviewer who is asking politicians about failures in judgment, failures in their private lives, inconsistencies, it was pretty rank of him to have an injunction while working as an active journalist," he said. "I think he knows that and I'm very pleased he's come forward and said 'I can no longer do this'."
Mr Marr, he said, had written an article saying that Parliament - not judges - should determine privacy law. The injunction is one of a series of court orders granted by judges in recent years as individuals resort to the law to protect their privacy.
In an interview with the Daily Mail, Mr Marr - married to Guardian columnist Jackie Ashley with three children - said he now felt "uneasy" about the order taken out to protect his family's privacy.
He told the newspaper: "I did not come into journalism to go around gagging journalists. Am I embarrassed by it? Yes. Am I uneasy about it? Yes."
Asked whether the Prime Minister would support reform of super-injunctions, a Downing Street spokeswoman said that the Government is awaiting the outcome of a review being carried out by Master of the Rolls Lord Neuberger. The review, launched in April 2010, is expected to conclude "fairly soon", said the spokeswoman.
Index on Censorship, campaigners for press freedom, welcomed Mr Marr's decision to abandon the super-injunction.
Chief executive John Kampfner said: "While there may be exceptional circumstances in which injunctions may be necessary, we now are seeing gagging orders being used to hide the wealthy from embarrassment and even commercial damage. We are in danger of creating a secret network of secret rich man's justice."