Today saw an appeal by News Group Newspapers for the gagging ban to be lifted which prevents the media from naming the footballer alleged to have had a sexual relationship with former Big Brother contestant, Imogen Thomas.
At the fresh appeal to reveal the footballers’ name, Judge Mr Justice Eady ruled against lifting the injunction. However, in the House of Commons later, Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming used parliamentary privilege to name the footballer as the super-injunction applicant. He questioned the enforceability of the superinjunction given that the name had been widely discussed on Twitter and other social networks in connection with the superinjunction. According to The Telegraph, Hemming said:
“With about 75,000 people having named ******** on Twitter it’s obviously impractical to imprison them all,” said Mr Hemming.
The MP was immediately rebuked by the Commons Speaker who said it was ‘not the occasion’ to raise such issues.
Mr Hemming retaliated, however, saying he wished to clarify the enforcibility of a law which ‘clearly does not have public consent’.
Straight away the scene from the House of Commons was shown on Sky News accompanied by a very obviously pre-prepared montage of the footballer, which must have been left on pause since they found out his name, months before today.
Whilst the injunction applies to media coverage of the story, the case has been further complicated by the leak of the footballers’ name on Twitter and other social media sites. The star’s’ lawyers have issued a lawsuit against Twitter and a number of their users, listed as “persons unknown”, which some pundits believe is an attempt to bring some accountability to the situation and dissuade others from using the same tactics to discredit future super-injunctions.
The sportsman had managed to fend off the media attention regarding his alleged affair with the z list celebrity by issuing the ‘super injunction’ in the first place. I should think he thought it would take more than a ‘super faux pas’ to bring down his house of cards.
We still think it is hilarious that the court is holding on to this one. We can’t wait until the day when this farce is over and we can use the real life moniker of he who cannot be named!