GUARDIAN HOLDING STORY DO NOT PUBLISH YET

The newspaper was ordered in the early hours of yesterday morning to remove seven documents from its website, published as part of its ongoing investigation into alleged tax avoidance at major companies.

The emergency injunction was due to expire at 4pm but was extended until further notice following yesterday’s hearing at the High Court in London.

Lawyers representing Barclays have asked that the leaked memos were “privileged and confidential” and the public interest would have been better served if the Guardian had passed the documents to HM Revenue and Customs instead of publishing them.

According to the Guardian, the gagging order has been condemned by MPs from all three main political parties.

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg said this morning that there was an “immense public interest” in knowing how banks do business, now that taxpayers’ money has been used to bail some of them out.

“I think the degree to which all of the rest of us are now underpinning the whole banking system means that the terms of this debate have changed,” he told the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 today.

“For those banks who are receiving taxpayers’ assistance, I think one of the conditions should be that the tax avoidance operations should simply be stopped.”

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