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Ryan Giggs named in Commons as gagging order footballer

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Ryan Giggs

Ryan Giggs

Ryan Giggs has been named as the player at the centre of a gagging order over a relationship with Imogen Thomas

Ryan Giggs has been named as the player at the centre of a gagging order over a relationship with Imogen Thomas

Ryan Giggs has been named as the player at the centre of a gagging order over a relationship with Imogen Thomas

Ryan Giggs has been named as the player at the centre of a gagging order over a relationship with Imogen Thomas

The married footballer is alleged to have had a 'sexual relationship' with Big Brother's Imogen Thomas

The married footballer is alleged to have had a 'sexual relationship' with Big Brother's Imogen Thomas

Imogen Thomas

Imogen Thomas

Imogen Thomas

Imogen Thomas

Imogen Thomas

Imogen Thomas

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Ryan Giggs

Manchester United veteran Ryan Giggs has been named by an MP in the Commons as the married footballer at the centre of a gagging order over a relationship with reality TV star Imogen Thomas.

Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming, who has been campaigning on the issue, said it was not practical to imprison the 75,000 Twitter followers who have already named the player.

He used parliamentary privilege to identify the star at the centre of the injunction just minutes after the High Court refused to lift a ban on naming the sportsman who had a relationship with the Big Brother star.

During the Commons debate on the use of injunctions, Mr Hemming used Parliamentary privilege to name the Premier League star and also identify a journalist said to be facing the threat of prison after allegedly breaching an injunction.

He was immediately rebuked by the Commons Speaker John Bercow, who said: "Occasions such as this are occasions for raising the issues of principle involved, not seeking to flout for whatever purpose. If the honourable gentleman wants to finish his question in an orderly way, he can do so."

Attorney General Dominic Grieve, who would be responsible for any prosecution for contempt, said: "It is our duty as parliamentarians to uphold the rule of law. What is absolutely clear is that breaches of court orders should not take place."

Senior judges warned last week that reports of comments which intentionally contravene court orders may not be protected by parliamentary privilege. Lord Neuberger, the Master of the Rolls and the most senior civil judge, said the law surrounding the issue was "astonishingly unclear", which was "very unsatisfactory".

Addressing the media at the Royal Courts of Justice in central London on Friday, Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge said: "It is, of course, wonderful for you if a Member of Parliament stands up in Parliament and says something which, in effect, means an order of the court on anonymity is breached.

"But you do need to think, do you not, whether it's a very good idea for our law-makers to be flouting a court order just because they disagree with a court order or, for that matter, because they disagree with the law of privacy which Parliament has created. It's a very serious issue in my view."

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said David Cameron has written to the chairman of the Commons Justice Committee, Sir Alan Beith, and the chairman of the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee, John Whittingdale, asking them to convene a joint committee of both houses to consider the issues of privacy and the use of injunctions. It is hoped it will report by the autumn, though it will be for the committee to determine its own timeframe.

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