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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Ken Clarke concerned over gagging orders

Ken Clarke concerned over gagging orders

Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke raised concerns today about the ''growing habit'' of MPs using parliamentary privilege to bypass court gagging orders.

'It can be argued that in modern times there is a growing habit of abusing parliamentary privilege' Kenneth Clarke said Photo: CLARA MOLDEN

"He called on the House authorities to introduce guidance about ''what is proper and what is not'' but suggested it was not something the Government wanted to tackle.

His comments come after Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming last month named Premier League footballer Ryan Giggs in the Commons as the subject of a super-injunction.

Mr Hemming and Lib Dem peer Lord Stoneham have also used parliamentary privilege to expose a privacy injunction obtained by former banker Sir Fred Goodwin.

Asked today during evidence to the Joint Committee on the Draft Defamation Bill whether he was considering extending the privilege, Mr Clarke said the Government was ''looking at'' the subject but ''treading with care''".

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