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Old 05-23-2011, 08:39 PM
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Default ANOTHER footballer granted injunction after arguing

Just hours after he paraded wife and children at Old Trafford . . .

  • ANOTHER footballer granted injunction after arguing he could be subject to 'cruel chants' on the pitch
  • Party's over, Ryan: Giggs leads title celebrations with his family... 24 hours later his extra-marital affair is exposed
The footballer at the centre of the gagging order over his affair with Big Brother star Imogen Thomas was named today in the House of Commons as Ryan Giggs. MP John Hemming used parliamentary privilege to name the star saying 75,000 people had already outed him on Twitter adding it would be 'impracticable' to imprison everyone on the website who had named him. Speaker John Bercow leapt out of his seat after Mr Hemming said the footballer's name to try and protect his identity.

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Old 05-23-2011, 08:40 PM
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Ryan Giggs named in Commons as footballer who had injunction preventing details of his affair with Imogen Thomas

  • Day of drama begins as PM says he knows identity 'like everybody else'
  • Mr Justice Eady rejects fresh application to discharge the injunction
  • Shock in the Commons as footballer's name finally revealed by MP
  • Media reveals Giggs is the star with injunction as Twitter goes crazy
  • High Court later rejects second attempt in one day to lift gagging order
The footballer at the centre of the gagging order over his affair with Big Brother star Imogen Thomas was sensationally named today in the House of Commons as Ryan Giggs.

Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming used parliamentary privilege during a debate to name the Manchester united player.
He said: 'With about 75,000 people having named Ryan Giggs on Twitter, it is obviously impracticable to imprison them all.'
Scroll down to see a video of the dramatic events inside the House of Commons today

Outed: Ryan Giggs, yesterday, celebrating with his two children Zach and Libby while Imogen Thomas was spotted leaving London today

MP John Hemming used Parliamentary privilege to name Giggs as the footballer behind the injunction

Naming Giggs, who yesterday celebrated becoming the most decorated player in the Premier League with 12 titles under his belt, Mr Hemming added that it would be 'impracticable' to imprison everyone on the website who had previously tweeted his identity.
Speaker John Bercow immediately leapt out of his seat and rebuked Mr Hemming in an effort to try to protect the Manchester United player's identity.
During an extraordinary afternoon in Parliament, Mr Hemming named the star just minutes after the High Court refused to lift a ban on naming Giggs.

Stacey Cooke appeared at Old Trafford with the couple's two children yesterday as the club celebrated winning the Premier League

After the event Mr Bercow said sternly: '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.'
Following the revelation thousands of people once again took to Twitter to spread word Giggs had finally been outed.
The Prime Minister's spokesman this afternoon refused to comment on individual cases, although David Cameron had earlier admitted to knowing who it was.

The Attorney General Dominic Grieve, who would be responsible for any prosecution for contempt, had earlier said during a Parliamentary debate on the injunction issue: 'It is our duty as parliamentarians to uphold the rule of law.'

The row provoked one of the biggest acts of civil disobedience in modern times and David Cameron branded the orders 'unsustainable' and 'unfair'.
Giggs had mounted a desperate campaign to keep his name secret, not only taking out an injunction but also threatening to sue Twitter users for leaking his name.
But, after more than a month of speculation by the general public, he was finally outed in the media at 4.18pm this afternoon - almost 24 hours after he joined his wife and son on the pitch at Old Trafford to celebrate Manchester United's Premier League title victory.

Earlier this afternoon Mr Justice Eady rejected a fresh application by News Group Newspapers to discharge the privacy injunction relating to CTB - the initials used to identify Ryan Giggs to the court - on the basis that to continue it would be 'futile', given recent widespread publicity about his identity.
The judge said: 'It has never been suggested, of course, that there is any legitimate public interest, in the traditional sense, in publishing this information.

'The court's duty remains to try and protect the claimant, and particularly his family, from intrusion and harassment so long as it can.'
Soon after the failed bid to have the injunction lifted, Attorney General Dominic Grieve announced that Mr Cameron would write to MP John Whittingdale to set up a joint committee to study the issue.
This morning speaking to ITV1's Daybreak, the Prime Minister indicated that he knew the identity of the footballer 'like everybody else' but stressed that there was no 'simple answer' and ministers needed to take 'some time out'.

Speaker John Bercow immediately leapt out of his seat and rebuked Mr Hemming in an effort to protect the Manchester United player's identity

The Prime Minister made the comments about the gagging orders when he appeared on ITV's Daybreak show today. Here he is pictured with Christine Bleakley and Adrian Chiles

Giggs's face was yesterday published by a Scots newspaper, the Glasgow-based Sunday Herald. Today, India's leading newspaper the Times Of India printed a picture of the footballer and used his name three times in a report about the injunction.

The Times of India also identified the British TV presenter and journalist who is facing a possible jail sentence after he allegedly breached a separate injunction.
The journalist is said to have named a second footballer trying to stop reports of an alleged affair. He was also named by the Indian paper.
The story was printed on the back page of the newspaper - the biggest-selling English language paper in India.

No reference was made to the story on its website, which is available to internet users in England and Wales.

Within hours of the player launching his legal challenge thousands of tweets about him and the relationship appeared on the site. Here are some of them with the player's name blacked out

Football fans in the UK yesterday mockingly chanted the footballer's name at a match with a worldwide audience. And the term 'Ryan Giggs' had been mentioned 55,000 times between teatime on Friday and lunchtime today.

Mr Cameron said: 'It is rather unsustainable, this situation, where newspapers can't print something that clearly everybody else is talking about, but there's a difficulty here because the law is the law and the judges must interpret what the law is.


  • How much longer can he keep a lid on it? Newspaper breaks ranks and publishes barely concealed picture of 'injunction footballer'
  • TV star is first to face jail over tweets after England footballer claims they breach injunction
  • ANOTHER footballer granted injunction arguing he would be subject to 'cruel chants' on the pitch
  • Record-breaking Ryan Giggs leads family celebrations as Man United wins another title
  • ANOTHER footballer granted injunction after arguing he could be subject to 'cruel chants' on the pitch

'What I've said in the past is, the danger is that judgments are effectively writing a new law which is what Parliament is meant to do.
'So I think the Government, Parliament has got to take some time out, have a proper look at this, have a think about what we can do, but I'm not sure there is going to be a simple answer.'


Left: The graph shows the number of people tweeting the footballer's name since Friday reached 56,000 by mid-afternoon. Right: The graph shows online searches for the footballer from across the world. Note the dramatic rise after news broke on Friday that he was taking action against Twitter


Left: This graph shows online searches from within the UK since May 13. Again, from a fairly constant level it suddenly shoots up on Friday. Right: Again measuring from May 13th, the worldwide interest in the player surges towards the end of the month

Mr Cameron suggested that one route might be to strengthen the Press Complaints Commission.

'It's not fair on the newspapers if all the social media can report this and the newspapers can't, so the law and the practice has got to catch up with how people consume media today,' he said.

'But I don't think there is an easy answer on this. Perhaps the way through is to look again at the Press Complaints Commission, the work it does. If people can have more confidence in that then we could have less of this current approach.

'But we are going to have to take some time out to really have a think about this.'
Labour leader Ed Miliband said he agreed that the privacy law situation 'does need to be looked at'.

'We have got a situation where we have these rulings on privacy, clearly many people are being able to break them through social networks, through Twitter and so on, and I don't think that's a good position to be in, when the law is clearly not working,' he told Sky News.

Twitter messages brought out by a TV star, a pop singer, an author and a comedian with references as to the identity of the player blacked out

Spotlight: Former Big Brother star Imogen, left, shopping with a friend over the weekend

'So I do think that Parliament needs to look at this. Parliament really needs to look at the balance between respecting the privacy of the individual and the freedom of the Press to report things which are in the public interest, and it's right that Parliament needs to look at it.'

The dramatic backlash took its cue from MPs and peers who have spoken against injunctions. It left judges facing an overwhelming task if they try to maintain the gagging order while preserving any shreds of respect for the courts and their privacy laws.
One MP suggested that only a minority of people had not heard that Giggs was behind the injunction granted in April forbidding the publication of his name or allegations that he had a six-month affair with former Big Brother contestant Imogen Thomas.

Internet speculation on his identity began within a week, was fuelled by an MP who blurted out his name during the recording of a television programme, and was helped along by Miss Thomas, who has complained frequently that she can be named and her reputation has been traduced.



  • News breaks of an injunction granted by Mr Justice Eady for Giggs – codenamed CTB - against Big Brother contestant Imogen Thomas.
  • The footballer’s own agent, Harry Swales, describes the revelations as a shock, saying: ‘This is incredible. I can’t believe it. He is such a family man.’

  • Miss Thomas, 28, breaks down as she tells ITV's This Morning of her regret that she doesn’t have enough money to get a super-injunction to protect her name.

  • Giggs is outed by a Twitter user, who quickly attracts a following of 20,000.

  • It emerges that Giggs is suing Twitter.

  • Giggs' thinly disguised face is published by a Scots newspaper, the Glasgow-based Sunday Herald.
  • It’s revealed that Imogen Thomas is threatening to sue Giggs. She is said to be furious that the Premier League sportsman suggested she demanded money to keep their affair quiet.
  • Total of messages about the star posted on Twitter hits 30,000.
  • Fans of rival teams chant the Manchester United player’s name during the final day of the Premier League season.
  • 8.17am Prime Minister David Cameron says on ITV1’s Daybreak that he knows the identity of the footballer 'like everybody else'.
  • 2.50pm Mr Justice Eady rejected a fresh application by News Group Newspapers to discharge the privacy injunction relating to Giggs.
  • 3.50pm Liberal Democrat MP John Hemmings uses parliamentary privilege to name the player, saying 75,000 people had already outed him on Twitter.
  • 4.17pm A rolling TV news channel outs Giggs. Other media outlets follow

  • 6.41pm Mr Justice Tugendhat rejects second application by News Group Newspapers - which owns The Sun, News of the World and The Times - to discharge the gagging order

The effect of English privacy injunctions in Scotland has been a legal grey area. Scotland has a separate legal system and in the landmark Spycatcher case in 1986, Scottish newspapers ignored English judges and published material from the banned book by a former MI5 agent.
But Scottish newspapers circulate in England and their editors have been careful until now to stick by the letter of privacy injunctions.
Paul McBride QC, the Sunday Herald's legal adviser, said it was unacceptable for unelected judges to make the decisions to grant injunctions in private.
Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme, Mr McBride said there needed to be a debate about the way forward over granting privacy injunctions.

He said: 'Parliament now have to look at this issue. We can't have unelected judges making these decisions in private when we have the internet out there where everyone can access the information they're trying to keep secret.

'We had the absurd position this week of even MPs in our democratically elected Parliament being threatened with potential contempt of court by using their parliamentary privilege to name people. That's not acceptable anymore.'

Mr McBride added: 'We're having this kind of surreal, parallel universe conversation where everyone with a mobile phone and access to the internet knows who the individual is but mainstream news organisations can't publish his name.

'In the case of the Sunday Herald, the decision was one of principle. The so-called super-injunction didn't apply in this particular jurisdiction and those representing the particular individual didn't take precautions to apply for an interdict in Scotland.

'In relation to the Sunday Herald article there was no discussion about the individual's private life it was simply to name him as the person who was using a tool of law which has widely now been brought into disrepute.'
Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond said it would be 'extremely foolish' for the Attorney General in England to try to start proceedings against a Scottish publication.

'I think it would be very, very unlikely that an Attorney General would be as foolish as to do so,' he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

'I think the political issue is whether it is tenable to pursue this sort of injunction.

'I would have thought there is an increasing view it is untenable to do so. There is a whole question of what is of interest to the public and what is in the public interest, which can often be different things.

'But the law essentially is a practical thing. It looks to me like English law and English injunctions are increasingly impractical in the modern world.'

Mr Salmond ridiculed the idea that English court rules on any subject 'should pertain across the planet'.

Giggs's name was chanted by his club’s supporters at a Premiership match yesterday. And he was mentioned in connection with the privacy case on his page on Wikipedia.
Lib Dem MP John Hemming, who has campaigned against privacy injunctions, earlier said: ‘This is an oppressive and sinister farce.’

Mr Hemming, who first identified disgraced banker Sir Fred Goodwin in connection with a super-injunction in the Commons, said: ‘The judges are trying to reverse the tide of civil disobedience with draconian attempts to suppress the truth.
‘But this is now the biggest wave of civil disobedience anyone can remember. There are at least 30,000 people defying the judges on the internet.’

1. What is it?
Parliamentary Privelege is the privilege which stops MPs and peers from being sued for defamation for any statement they make in Parliament.

2. What are its origins?

The origins date back to the English Civil War when Parliament was fighting for the right to independence from the monarchy.

Back then the law was the will of the King.
But it was the 1689 the Bill of Rights which established parliament's rights following the Glorious Revolution and officially enshrined parliamentary privilege in English law.
Article 9 guarantees freedom of speech stating "the freedom of speech and debates or proceedings in parliament ought not to be impeached or questioned in any court or place out of Parliament".

3. Why is it an issue now?

It is controversial now as the Lord Chief Justice said today newspapers could be found in contempt of court for merely reporting what is said in Parliament.
His comments are seen by critics as an attempt by the courts to censor parliamentary proceedings - when it is a constitutional right enshrined in English law - and they say the law belongs to everyone - not just judges and the courts.


Here are brief details of some of the injunctions used by footballers, TV stars and other figures.
The letters used to describe those involved bare no resemblance to their names
A married Premiership footballer had an affair with another woman.
A married footballer who had an affair with Kimberly West, an 18-year-old model.
Another Premiership footballer who is alleged to have an had affair.
A television presenter who prevented ******** photos and other information being published by a newspaper
A TV star who is accused of having *** with his ex-wife following his second marriage
An actor who had an affair with a married colleague, who was later sacked when his wife discovered the allegations
An actor who was involved with Helen Wood, who also allegedly had *** with Wayne Rooney.
A public figure who was blackmailed by an alleged mistress

He added: ‘People are finding that the more you try to suppress something on the internet, the more it is published. Attempts to silence the internet are much more in the interest of the lawyers than the footballers.’
The open defiance of the privacy laws, developed by judges on the back of Labour’s Human Rights Act, has mushroomed to unprecedented levels thanks to the internet.
Last week Master of the Rolls Lord Neuberger, backed by Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge, threatened to restrict reporting of Parliament in the attempt to shore up the effectiveness of secrecy injunctions.
The judges are to stage talks with Commons Speaker John Bercow and Lords Speaker Baroness Hayman to try to stop MPs and peers using Parliamentary privilege to name those who have been given injunctions.

Judges have also been told that in future privacy injunctions should ban anyone from gossiping about names involved, and newspapers should pass on the names of all journalists in the know to the lawyers of celebrities with injunctions.
Yesterday Tory MP Douglas Carswell said the law is ‘an ass’. He added: ‘Mr Bercow should remind the judges that the Commons is elected – and it is their Lordships’ appetite for self-aggrandisement that has left them looking asinine.'
Several celebrities, including XXXX XXXXXX, the broadcaster, author and XXXX XX XXXXXX columnist, XXX XXXXX, the singer, and the comedians XXXX XXXXXXX and XXX XXXX are among those who posted tweets at the weekend which either identified the star in connection to the relationship or heavily hinted at his involvement.

The attempt to silence Twitter may turn into an own goal because several of the celebrity tweeters have followings which far exceed the circulations of some of the newspapers the star is trying to silence.
Was MP right to name Ryan Giggs as super-injunction footballer?

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Alan Stevens, who advises businesses on social media, said the attempt to silence Twitter was like ‘pouring petrol on the flames’.

He said: ‘It is like that famous scene in Spartacus where everyone puts their hand up and claims to be the hero of the piece.
‘Everyone on Twitter is now queuing up to name that footballer.
‘There are so many people out there talking about it, you might as well say you can’t talk on the phone or in the pub about something.’

TV star who tweeted footballer's name could be jailed... and NO ONE would know

For the first time in centuries someone could be sent to prison in Britain and no one would be allowed to know who they were.
The sinister scenario emerged yesterday when it was revealed a TV personality was facing jail for repeating the name of an England footballer with a privacy injunction.
If the media personality is named in any trial for contempt of court then the footballer’s injunction will be effectively broken. So if judges are to keep to the terms of the injunction the trial is meant to protect, he cannot be named.

Hidden: The TV star who repeated the footballer's name on Twitter could be secretly sent to prison

Yesterday they were warned that any move to imprison someone while keeping their identity secret would be ‘absolutely against the principles of open justice.’
The Kafka-esque twist in the privacy law row comes after a judge acted on complaints from the footballer’s lawyers. They protested his gagging order had been broken by the media celebrity on Twitter.

The complaint could end in a test-case trial for contempt of court and a range of possible punishments, from a minor fine up to imprisonment.
However at present the individual cannot be named, because to do so would be to break the footballer’s privacy injunction.
Although his Twitter postings which identified the footballer have been taken down, they have been copied by other websites and there is easily-discovered internet speculation linking the celebrity with the footballer.

No one is thought to have been sentenced and punished by English courts for centuries without being publicly named.
In the recent past a number of foreign terrorist suspects who were unnamed have been held in prison. But their detention, which was stopped after a House of Lords ruling, did not follow trial and conviction, and they would have been released at any time if they had agreed to be deported.

They could also have allowed their names to be published if they had wished. The celebrity named the married footballer, who is alleged to have had an affair, in tweets during a recent notable football match. A series of messages joked at the player’s expense.
Last Thursday Mr Justice Tugendhat agreed to refer the celebrity’s behaviour to the Attorney General, who must decide whether to bring a prosecution for contempt. It was the first time a judge has sent an alleged breach of a privacy injunction for consideration for a contempt prosecution.
The Attorney General, Dominic Grieve, must decide whether it is in the public interest to bring a prosecution. If he recommends prosecution, the trial will go ahead in the Divisional Court, a section of the High Court, presided over by two senior judges. There would be no jury so the celebrity could not hope to escape conviction because the ordinary people who compose a jury thought the charges against him were ridiculous.
A spokesman for the Attorney General said he had yet to receive the referral and was unable to comment. The celebrity, who appears in a popular BBC TV programme and writes for a major newspaper, said: ‘I don’t understand how it can be contempt of court but if it is I need to be quite careful about what is being said. The courts take contempt matters very seriously and I don’t want to get in any trouble with the courts.’
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Old 05-23-2011, 08:41 PM
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Party's over, Ryan: Giggs leads title celebrations with his family... 24 hours later his extra-marital affair is exposed

Less than 24 hours after celebrating the Premier League title Ryan Giggs was back in the headlines.
He was finally named as the man who had tried to cover up an illicit affair with Imogen Thomas - in what had become the internet's worst-kept secret.
After his side were presented with the Premier League trophy at Old Trafford yesterday, the 37-year-old led the onfield celebrations with his two children, Zach and Libby.
But this afternoon his reputation as a family man was rocked when he was finally outed as the high-profile player who had used the courts to keep details of his extra-marital affair a secret.

Father's pride: Giggs enjoys his record-breaking run with his two children, Zach and Libby as Manchester United celebrated its 12th Premier League win
The revelation - made in Parliament by John Hemmings - will come as a relief to Miss Thomas, who broke down in tears on television over the affair.
The pair allegedly enjoyed a six-month fling, meeting in secret at a string of luxury hotels, it was claimed.
At the time the gagging order was granted, Giggs' agent described the revelations as a shock, saying: ‘This is incredible. I can’t believe it. He is such a family man.


  • Ryan Giggs named in Commons as footballer who had injunction preventing details of his affair with Imogen Thomas

‘I don’t know what to say, knowing the closeness of his family.’

Last month the 28-year-old former Big Brother contestant broke down as she told ITV's This Morning of her regret that she didn't have enough money to get a super-injunction to protect her name.
Struggling to control her emotions, Miss Thomas said: 'I had no intention of ever speaking about the man - I just wish that my name was protected. I didn't have £50,000 to get an injunction.
'I feel like I have been thrown to the lions and told to "deal with it".

Ryan Gigg's wife, Stacey Cooke, laughs during the family celebrations at Old Trafford. Left Imogen Thomas leaving her house in North London
'I'm coping with a lot of stress and pressure on my head at the moment, it has such a terrible experience for me. I've done wrong and I'm paying for it.'
Asked whether she had ever planned to 'sell her story' before she found out about the super-injunction which was granted earlier in April, Miss Thomas tearfully replied: 'I would never have said anything.

'I had no intention of selling my story whatsoever, no intention at all.'
Miss Thomas also had to face allegations from Giggs that she attempted to blackmail him over their affair.

She was said to be furious that he had suggested she demanded money to keep their affair quiet.
Speaking after one High Court hearing, she said: ‘I have read the judgement and I am stunned by how I’m portrayed.

United front: Ryan Giggs with his wife Stacey Cooke arrive at Manchester United's 2011 Player of the Year Awards last Wednesday

'Yet again my name and my reputation are being trashed while the man I had a relationship with is able to hide.
‘What’s more, I can’t even defend myself because I have been gagged. Where’s the fairness in that? What about my reputation?

‘If this is the way privacy injunctions are supposed to work then there’s something seriously wrong with the law.’
Imogen Thomas broke down in tears when she appeared on This Morning last week

After breaking into the Manchester United team in the 1991/92 season Giggs became one of the most respected players in the game.
He made his debut aged 17 as a substitute against Everton, and two months later scored the winner against Manchester City at Old Trafford on his full debut.

Nineteen years on and he is considered by many to be the 'golden boy' of football and it was all smiles for him and his two children on the pitch as they celebrated his record-breaking run.
Throughout his career he has made the most Premier League appearances and is the only one to have scored in all the campaigns since it was created.
In 2007 he was awarded the OBE and it was commented then that the award would no doubt have taken into account his charity work, aiding the campaign to rid football of racism, plus his role as a Unicef representative working to eliminate the use of land mines.
In September that year he married long-time partner Stacey Cooke in a ceremony attended by close relatives and friends. The couple's children, Liberty and Zach, were part of the congregation.

Speaking after winning the Sports Personality of the Year Award in 2009 he said: 'I've been lucky enough to win a lot of things in my career, playing with great players and playing under the greatest manager who has ever lived, I've played for the greatest club, this is up there.'
Explaining how he kept up his level of performance despite his advancing years, Giggs said: 'Desire, looking after myself. I'm enjoying my football more than ever and I think that's reflected in my play.'
It remains to be seen whether his reputation - and marriage - can survive this final twist in his career.

Miss Thomas's television tears came after a High Court hearing the previous day over the injunction that protected Giggs
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