Straw urged to take action against court gagging orders

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Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary, was challenged last night to take immediate action to tackle the proliferation of "super-injunctions" issued by courts.

The demands follow the failed attempt by footballer, John Terry, to obtain a double gagging order preventing reporting of his affair with a team-mate's ex-girlfriend. Vanessa Perroncel was last night at the centre of a bidding war, with newspapers offering her a reported £250,000 to tell the story of her affair with the England captain.

The disclosures over Terry's private life have given fresh impetus to calls at Westminster for a crackdown on the soaring incidence of super-injunctions.

The use of the legal orders, preventing the disclosure of even the existence of the original injunction, was highlighted when the oil trading firm Trafigura attempted to block reporting of a parliamentary question about an injunction it had taken out.

Mr Straw has signalled his concern over the issue and has launched a review into super-injunctions. The former minister, Denis MacShane, has called for action within weeks.

Mr MacShane said: "Any order that bans the press from reporting the facts, and then bans the reporting of the ban itself, is Kafkaesque."