More MPs and Lords expected to reveal super-injunctions in Parliament

A media law expert has suggested that there could be a growing trend for MPs and peers breaking down super-injunctions by using parliamentary privilege.

Parliamentary privilege: reveals super-injunctions
Parliamentary privilege: reveals super-injunctions
Former RBS boss Sir Fred Goodwin was revealed to have taken out a super-injunction regarding his alleged affair with a senior colleague in the House of Lords yesterday.

The claims about the married banker’s relationship were revealed by Liberal Democrat Lord Stoneham of Droxford yesterday, who used parliamentary privilege to break the injunction in the Lords. Following this announcement, the High Court partially lifted the injunction.

Pinsent Masons Media Law partner Kim Walker told PRWeek that there could be many more examples on their way of MPs and peers exposing super-injunctions.

‘I think the MPs and Lords feel that this needs to be looked at by Parliament rather than by judges, so they’re raising it to raise this point. It’s reflecting public concern.

‘I think that until there are clear indications that Parliament is going to draw up a Privacy Bill, these concerns in the Lords and Commons will continue to be raised – and increasingly so.’

Stoneham, speaking on behalf of fellow Liberal Democrat peer Lord Oakeshott, said during yesterday’s debate: ‘Would [the speaker] accept that every taxpayer has a direct public interest in the events leading up to the collapse of the Royal Bank of Scotland?

‘So how can it be right for a super-injunction to hide the alleged relationship between Sir Fred Goodwin and a senior colleague? If true it would be a serious breach of corporate governance and not even the Financial Services Authority would know about it.’

The news come as a report is expected to be issued today by Lord Neuberger, the most senior civil judge in England and Wales, which will address concerns over injunctions and super-injunctions.

The report is expected to call for journalists to be allowed to sit in on the court proceedings around super-injunctions, but they will not be allowed to report on them.

‘It works to dampen the media’s interest, but it’s pretty hard to police that kind of thing,’ commented Walker.

‘The other rumour is that super-injunctions will just be served on editors so only the editor would know what its about. It’s narrowing the circle of people who know what’s going on.’

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