The footballer at the centre of a gagging order over a relationship with Big Brother star Imogen Thomas has been named by an MP in the Commons as Ryan Giggs.
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 MP’s action finally lifted the blackout on mainstream media identifying the Manchester United star – even though a High Court judge had again refused to lift the injunction earlier.
House of Commons speaker John Bercow took the MP to task over his action, saying: “Let me just say to the honourable gentleman, I know he’s already done it, but 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.”
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.”
Attorney General Dominic Grieve said: “It is our duty as parliamentarians to uphold the rule of law.”
Asked whether the press would be covered by privilege if they were reporting on the exchanges that took place, the speaker said: “The answer to that is yes.”
Minutes before Mr Hemming’s comments in the Commons, the High Court refused to lift the ban on journalists naming the married footballer who allegedly had a relationship with Imogen.
Recently TV viewers watched as the 28-year-old former Miss Wales fought back tears while speaking about the injunction. She told ITV1 show This Morning: “I’ve been exploited and I just feel just really angry.”