Today in Business Questions
I have been contacted about my comments in parliament today. My response is: "It is a legally complex situation and I am not saying anything outside parliamentary proceedings".
On the wider question, however. I would say:
"I am concerned about two things. Firstly the development of a law of privacy without the proper statutory underpinning or public support. Secondly, the lack of accountability for super injunctions."
It is parliament's role to deal with both of these issues.
Hansard has now published the exchange:John Hemming (Birmingham, Yardley) (LD):
In a secret hearing, Fred Goodwin has obtained a super-injunction preventing him from being identified as a banker. Will the Government hold a debate, or make a statement, on freedom of speech, and whether there is one law for the rich, such as Fred Goodwin, and another for the poor, such as Lee Gilliland who has had his mental capacity removed on the basis of a report from his GP that he is not allowed to see?Sir George Young:
I know that in a week’s time my hon. Friend will have a debate in Westminster Hall which may impinge on some of these issues. I will raise with the appropriate Minister the matter that he has just raised, but it seems to impinge on the responsibility of the courts and any Minister would be cautious about commenting on that.