Ryan Giggs has been named as the footballer at the centre of the super-injunction row by MP John Hemming, a move which Lord Prescott has told Channel 4 News is an “abuse” of parliamentary privilege.
Ryan Giggs has been named as the footballer at the centre of the super-injunction row.
Using parliamentary privilege, Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming, who has been campaigning on the issue, said: “With about 75,000 people having named Ryan Giggs on Twitter, it is obviously impracticable to imprison them all.”
The Manchester United star, and former Wales captain, had already been identified in tens of thousands of posts on Twitter as the celebrity who took out an injunction to prevent an alleged affair being made public.
Mr Hemming said: “The question is what the Government’s view is on an enforceability of a law that clearly doesn’t have public consent.”
With about 75,000 people having named Ryan Giggs on Twitter, it is obviously impracticable to imprison them all. John Hemming MP
Attorney General Dominic Grieve, who has announced a committee is being set up to investigate the crisis surrounding injunctions, said: “It is our duty as parliamentarians to uphold the rule of law.”
Earlier the High Court upheld for a third time the injunction designed to protect the 37-year-old sportsman, despite events in the Commons.
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The player took out an injunction after allegedly having an affair with Imogen Thomas, a former contestant on Big Brother.
On the question of whether the press would be covered by privilege if they reported on the exchanges that took place in the Commons, the Speaker John Bercow said: “The answer to that is yes.”
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David Cameron has been asked if he thinks Mr Hemming was wrong to use parliamentary privilege to name the footballer. His official spokesman said: “I don’t think it is for the Government to comment on individual cases.”
Earlier, the PM said the UK’s privacy laws have created an “unsustainable” situation where newspapers are prevented from publishing information that everyone is talking about.
Lord Prescott has told Channel 4 News that he is angry about the “abuse” of parliamentary privilege.
Speaking to Jon Snow, he said: “I’m against the abuse of privilege… and what we saw with Hemming today was clearly an abuse which the Speaker didn’t have time to stop.
“If the courts decide – and we as Parliament have given them the right to make a balanced judgement between freedom of information and the private rights of the individual – we hand it over to them to make the judgement.
It’s a conspiracy of the press and the tweeters to undermine human rights. Lord Prescott
“If you come into parliament and say ‘I disagree with what’s happened there and a few people on Twitter have come out with this and therefore I’m going to allow his name to be put out against any assessment like the judges have to do’… then that’s why it’s an abuse.”
“The press have picked on rich people… for stories that sell their papers. This is nothing to do with press freedom, it’s a conspiracy.
“It’s a conspiracy of the press and the tweeters to undermine human rights.
“I agree it’s a farce, but the essential principle is we pass this over to the judges to make a balance.
“Why are we dealing with this footballer? Because he had sex?
“Yes it is a farce!”