Sally Bercow in second Twitter gaffe after breaching court order

Sally Bercow, the wife of Commons Speaker John Bercow, could be in trouble with the law after reportedly breaching a court order by naming a schoolgirl who allegedly ran away with her maths teacher.

Bercow, already on a list of those who wrongly named or linked former senior Tory Lord McAlpine with child abuse claims, sent a message on Sunday night to her 59,000-plus followers on Twitter asking what happened to the teacher, Jeremy Forrest, 30, and reportedly named the girl.

The tweet was later deleted after Bercow was apparently warned about the order by journalists – though another message remained: "Forgive random question – just discussing with friend…".

Forrest was arrested in Bordeaux in September.

He was returned to Britain and charged with child abduction.

In the initial stages of dealing with his case, the court made a Section 39 Order under the Children and Young Persons Act 1933, banning identification of the girl.

It is the second time in just a matter of weeks that Bercow's use of Twitter has resulted in problems for her.

On November 4 she tweeted: "Why is Lord McAlpine trending? *innocent face*."

She is accused of linking Lord McAlpine with a BBC Newsnight programme which made unfounded allegations of sexual abuse against a senior Tory at a children's home in Wales.

Mrs Bercow has defended her tweet describing it as not libellous, "just foolish".

But the outraged peer and his lawyers did not agree and his solicitor Andrew Reid confirmed Bercow's name was on an extensive list of those against whom legal action might be taken.

She responded to suggestions she would be contacted by Lord McAlpine's lawyers by taking to Twitter again, posting: "Thanks for phone calls/texts/tweets.

"I guess I'd better get some legal advice then.

"Still maintain was not a libellous tweet – just foolish."

On Sunday she also tweeted that she was "a bit scared to comment on trending topics nowadays".

And she also told her followers that she does "not have the money to contest a multi-millionaire".

Sussex Police, which is the investigating force in the Forrest case, said: "Sussex Police is fully aware of reporting restrictions around the case involving Jeremy Forrest and, therefore, is being cautious in the information we release.

"We will actively investigate potential criminal breaches of these restrictions by others."

UPDATE: Bercow is now reported to have closed her Twitter account.

No comments to display

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *