Britain's law on injunctions was thrown into further turmoil after the high-profile footballer at the centre of a controversial privacy case in the UK was named.
Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming used parliamentary privilege to name the player as the one who took out an injunction over his relationship with reality TV star Imogen Thomas.
But even after Prime Minister David Cameron said that he, “like everybody else”, knew the player’s name, and Commons Speaker John Bercow confirmed reports of the proceedings would be protected by privilege, the High Court rejected two bids by the Sun’s lawyers to lift the gagging order.
Speaking in the Commons, Mr Hemming said: “With about 75,000 people having named (the player) on Twitter, it is obviously impracticable to imprison them all.”
Mr Bercow immediately took the MP to task over his comments, telling him that “occasions such as this are occasions for raising the issues of principle involved, not seeking to flout for whatever purpose”.
Earlier Mr Cameron told ITV1’s Daybreak that banning newspapers from naming such stars while the information was widely available was both “unsustainable” and “unfair”.
He has written to the chairman of the Commons Justice Committee Alan Beith and the chairman of the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee, John Whittingdale, asking them to convene a joint committee of both houses to consider the issues of privacy and the use of injunctions.