Gag Removed - Job Done
Some confusion has reigned in the blogosphere about today's points of order. My objective was to identify the parties in the Vicky Haigh / Doncaster case where Doncaster tried to Jail Vicky for talking in Parliament.
All the other details of the story are in the public domain, but an injunction prevented the parties being identified.
Now they can be identified.
Points of Order
John Hemming (Birmingham, Yardley) (LD): On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Vicky Haigh, a horse trainer and former jockey, was the subject of an attempt by Doncaster council to imprison her for speaking at a meeting in Parliament. There was discussion earlier today as to whether that case was sub judice. An application was made to the court, a copy of which I have provided to your office. Additionally, I have provided to your office a copy of the court order in which it was deemed that she would not be jailed. I assume, therefore, that the case is not sub judice, in accordance with sub-paragraph (b)(ii) of the relevant resolution:
“Any application made in or for the purposes of any civil proceedings shall be treated as a distinct proceeding.”
Mr Speaker: I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his attempted point of order and for notice that he was to raise the matter this afternoon. I do not intend to have a discussion on the Floor of the House, notwithstanding what he said about documents that have been deposited, on whether a particular case is or is not sub judice. One of my duties is to uphold the resolution of the House with respect to sub judice issues. As far as this particular matter is concerned, I am perfectly prepared to discuss it privately with the hon. Gentleman. I will not take any further points of order on this matter today, and I feel sure that he will take his cue from the clear response that I have given.
John Hemming: On a separate point of order, Mr Speaker.
Mr Speaker: The hon. Gentleman may have a separate point of order, but it is a bit greedy to have two in one go. We will have someone else first so that he can save his vocal cords and we will revert to him in due course.
John Hemming: On a second point of order, Mr Speaker, of which I also gave notice, I wish to make another point about sub judice. There is a tendency for people to issue injunctions on the basis of a claim that they intend to issue proceedings, but then not actually to issue those proceedings. One such case is AMM, in which no proceedings have been issued. One would therefore presume that such a case never becomes sub judice.
Mr Speaker : The ingenuity of the hon. Gentleman is almost boundless, and that fact will not have gone unnoticed in any part of the House. However, the initial observations that he made demonstrate to me that the second issue that he has raised is also one for consideration at our private meeting, which I feel sure he is eagerly awaiting.