Andrew Marr drops super-injunction over affair

Private Eye editor Ian Hislop has accused the BBC's Andrew Marr of hypocrisy after he admitted taking out a controversial super-injunction while working as a journalist.

Mr Marr, the corporation's former political editor, won a High Court order in January 2008 to silence the press following his extra-marital affair with another national newspaper reporter.



Mr Hislop, who has been fighting the so-called gagging order and challenged the injunction only last week, condemned the suppression of reporting as "a touch hypocritical" today.



"As a leading BBC interviewer who is asking politicians about failures in judgment, failures in their private lives, inconsistencies, it was pretty rank of him to have an injunction while working as an active journalist," he said.



"I think he knows that and I'm very pleased he's come forward and said 'I can no longer do this'."



Mr Marr, he said, had written an article saying that Parliament - not judges - should determine privacy law.



The injunction is one of a series of court orders granted by judges in recent years as individuals resort to the law to protect their privacy.



In an interview with the Daily Mail, Mr Marr - married to Guardian columnist Jackie Ashley with three children - said he now felt "uneasy" about the order taken out to protect his family's privacy.



"I did not come into journalism to go around gagging journalists," he told the newspaper.



"Am I embarrassed by it? Yes. Am I uneasy about it? Yes."



But he added: "I also had my own family to think about, and I believed this story was nobody else's business.



"I still believe there was, under those circumstances, no public interest in it."



But he said the use of injunctions now seemed to be "running out of control".



"There is a case for privacy in a limited number of difficult situations, but then you have to move on. They shouldn't be forever and a proper sense of proportion is required," he said.



Under the terms of the injunction, the media has been banned from publishing any details relating to the indiscretion.



Mr Hislop, who stressed that Private Eye does not have the money to challenge all super-injunctions, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "In a sense, he led the pack because he was the most respectable of the people putting super-injunctions in.



"But the principle remains wrong, which he knows, articulated once and should still believe."



He added: "Here was a case that was quite important and should be challenged so I wasted the money challenging it."



His comments come amid growing disquiet at the use of injunctions and so-called super-injunctions by celebrities to prevent reporting of their private lives.



Last week Prime Minister David Cameron sounded a warning about the way judges are creating a new law of privacy "rather than Parliament".



"The judges are creating a sort of privacy law whereas what ought to happen in a parliamentary democracy is Parliament, which you elect and put there, should decide how much protection do we want for individuals and how much freedom of the press and the rest of it," he said.



"So I am a little uneasy about what is happening."



The Prime Minister's remarks came after High Court judge Mr Justice Eady issued what was thought to be the first order permanently blocking publication of material relating to an individual's private life.



In another High Court hearing, a married Premier League footballer who reportedly had an affair with Big Brother's Imogen Thomas won the right to maintain his anonymity.







Asked whether the Prime Minister would support reform of super-injunctions, a Downing Street spokeswoman said that the Government was awaiting the outcome of a review being carried out by Master of the Rolls Lord Neuberger.



The review, launched in April 2010, is expected to conclude "fairly soon", said the spokeswoman.





Index on Censorship, campaigners for press freedom, welcomed Mr Marr's decision to abandon the super-injunction.



Chief executive John Kampfner said: "While there may be exceptional circumstances in which injunctions may be necessary, we now are seeing gagging orders being used to hide the wealthy from embarrassment and even commercial damage.

"We are in danger of creating a secret network of secret rich man's justice."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Life and Style
Suited and booted in the Lanvin show at the Paris menswear collections
fashionParis Fashion Week
Arts and Entertainment
Kara Tointon and Jeremy Piven star in Mr Selfridge
tvActress Kara Tointon on what to expect from Series 3
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
An asteroid is set to pass so close to Earth it will be visible with binoculars
news
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has spoken about the lack of opportunities for black British actors in the UK
film
News
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Sauce Recruitment: Programme Sales Executive - Independent Distributor

£25000 - £28000 per annum + circa 28K + 20% bonus opportunity: Sauce Recruitme...

SThree: Talent Acquisition Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: Are you an ambitious, money mot...

Guru Careers: Investment Writer / Stock Picker

Competitive (DOE): Guru Careers: A freelance Investment Writer / Stock Picker ...

Guru Careers: PPC Account Executive / Paid Search Executive

£20 - 24K + Benefits: Guru Careers: An enthusiastic PPC Account / Paid Search ...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project