Nick Clegg chides John Hemming
Nick Clegg has reprimanded fellow Lib Dem John Hemming for naming Ryan Giggs as the footballer at the centre of the row over super injunctions.
Speaking in the Commons this morning the deputy prime minister said: "I don't think anyone should be above the rule of law, and if we don't like the law we should act as legislators to change the law and not flout it."
Yesterday Hemming used the protection of parliamentary privilege to out Giggs as having obtained a gagging order that prevented newspapers from reporting allegations that he had an extra-marital affair.
He told MPs: "With about 75,000 people having named Ryan Giggs on Twitter, it is obviously impracticable to imprison them all."
Clegg was responding to a question from Labour's Stella Creasy who asked him what discussions he has had with government and party colleagues "on the circumstances in which parliamentarians should be above the rule of law".
The Lib Dem leader's choice of words echoed those of the Speaker who yesterday slapped down Hemming for what he saw an attempt to "flout" a court order.
Hemming has been criticised by many other parliamentary colleagues for his decision to name names.
But writing on the Lib Dem Voice blog today he said he did so because he thought it wrong that people could be prosecuted for "gossiping about trivia on twitter".
He said: "This country has allowed too much secret justice to develop. Parliament can stand up to protect people who face such oppressive tactics. That is parliament’s job."