The Sun is calling for a super injunction banning the identity of a football player – who allegedly had an affair with Imogen Thomas – to be lifted.
The demand comes after Scotland’s Herald newspaper published a picture of the super injunction footballer’s face with a black band across his eyes and the word “censored” in capital letters.
Beneath the picture they wrote: “Everyone knows this is the footballer accused of using the courts to keep allegations of a sexual affair secret.”
Scotland has its own legal system, apparently meaning the paper was not bound by the super injunction.
Today, even Prime Minister David Cameron called super injunctions “unsustainable” and “unfair”, pointing out the futility of banning newspapers from naming stars while the information is widely available on the internet.
A statement on The Sun’s website said: “Following publication on the front page of a Scottish newspaper it is clear this injunction is unworkable.
“When the Prime Minister says on breakfast television that he knows the identity of the footballer, it is time for the courts to do the right thing and end a situation where readers of some newspapers but not others are allowed to know the worst-kept secret in the country.
“We have asked our lawyers to make an application at the High Court and await the outcome with great interest.”
Earlier in the day, 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.
“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.
“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.”
Last week, a super injunction obtained by former Royal Bank of Scotland chief Sir Fred Goodwin was partially lifted by the High Court after allegations that he had an affair were made public by Liberal Democrat peer Lord Stoneham of Droxford in the House of Lords.
An urgent parliamentary question to Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt has been accepted for 3.30pm today.
The question from Culture Select Committee chairman John Whittingdale asks Hunt to set out the Government’s position on super injunctions.
Although the super injunction footballer has already been named on Twitter more than 30,00 times there has been political reluctance to get involved in such an uncertain legal initiative.
Lawyers acting for the footballer at the centre of the super injunction furore, known only (ahem) as CTB, are asking Twitter for information about the people who “may have breached a court order” by naming him.
A Twitter spokesman said they were unable to comment on the issue.
Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond said today that the Herald should not be pursued by the English courts for publishing the football player’s photo.
“It looks to me like the English law, English injunctions look increasingly impractical in the modern world.”