MP: Fred Goodwin bans press from calling him a banker

Former Royal Bank of Scotland chief executive Sir Fred Goodwin has taken out an injunction banning newspapers from calling him a banker, an MP claimed yesterday.

Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming used Parliamentary privilege to name the former bank chief as the man who went to court to stop media outlets referring to his former role.

Hemming, MP for Birmingham Yardley, told MPs at Business Questions in the Commons: “In a secret hearing, Fred Goodwin has obtained a super-injunction preventing him being identified as a banker.”

MPs should be given the chance to discuss the increasing use of super-injunctions by the rich and famous, he said.

He asked: “Will the Government have a debate or a statement on the issue of freedom of speech and whether there is one law for the rich, such as Fred Goodwin, and another law for the poor?”

Leader of the House Sir George Young said a forthcoming Westminster Hall debate would explore freedom of speech, adding: “I will raise with the appropriate minister the issue he has just raised.”

But Sir George warned MPs about addressing legal proceedings and court responsibilities, saying: “I think any minister would be cautious about commenting on that.”

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