BUCKINGHAM MP John Bercow was yesterday caught in the centre of the superinjunction debate when an MP named footballer Ryan Giggs as the man alleged to have had an affair with a former Big Brother contestant.
Mr Bercow, who is the House of Commons speaker, was forced to intervene when Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming mentioned Giggs’ name in Parliament.
Mr Hemming named the married Manchester United star as the man who obtained a superinjunction to prevent The Sun publishing details of his alleged dalliance with Welsh beauty Imogen Thomas.
Despite the superinjunction preventing the naming of the individual involved, Yardley MP Mr Hemming was able to circumvent the ruling by using parliamentary privilege, a legal immunity enjoyed by members.
His intervention came after thousands of people revealed the name of the player involved on social networking sites such as Twitter.
Speaking in the Commons, Mr Hemming said: “With about 75,000 people having named Ryan Giggs on Twitter, it is obviously impracticable to imprison them all, and with reports that Giles Coren also faces imprisonment –”
A clearly annoyed Mr Bercow interjected to inform Mr Hemming that the House is not the correct place to ‘flout orders’.
He said: “Let me just say to the hon. Gentleman – although I know that he has already done it – that occasions such as this are for raising the issues of principle involved, not for seeking to flout orders for whatever purpose.”
The Sun tried twice to overturn the superinjunction yesterday, once before and once after Mr Hemming’s Commons outburst.
But each time the decision was upheld, with Judge Mr Justice Tugendhat saying, on the latter occasion, that the order was in place to prevent intrusion, not secrecy.