Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

BBC STAR ATTACKED OVER GAG ON AFFAIR; MARR BRANDED 'HYPOCRITICAL' AS MP SAYS HE HAS MADE A MOCKERY OF PRIVACY LAW Andrew Marr's Mea Culpa 'Sounds the Death Knell for Celebrity Super-Injunctions'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

BBC STAR ATTACKED OVER GAG ON AFFAIR; MARR BRANDED 'HYPOCRITICAL' AS MP SAYS HE HAS MADE A MOCKERY OF PRIVACY LAW Andrew Marr's Mea Culpa 'Sounds the Death Knell for Celebrity Super-Injunctions'

Article excerpt

Byline: Nicholas Cecil Chief Political Correspondent

BBC presenter Andrew Marr was today accused of hypocrisy after he admitted that he gagged the press to hide an adulterous affair.

The journalist confessed to using a super-injunction to prevent publication of reports -- despite calling for judges to lose control over privacy law.

Marr has dropped the injunction but triggered a fresh row over celebrities running to the High Court to hide lurid details of their private lives.

One legal expert predicted Marr's stance may sound the "death knell" for super-injunctions. Tory MP Philip Davies, who sits on the Commons culture, media and sport committee, said: "Andrew Marr's decision makes a further mockery of the super-injunction culture."

Ian Hislop, the editor of Private Eye who challenged Marr's injunction last week, said he thought it had been "hypocritical" because he had previously argued that Parliament -- not judges -- should determine privacy law.

"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," Hislop 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."

Hislop, who also stars on the BBC's Have I Got News For You show, added: "I'm very pleased he's come forward and said 'I can no longer do this'."

The growing row comes after David Cameron spoke of his "unease" that judges seemed to be creating a new law of privacy rather than Parliament.

At least 30 of the orders are believed to be in place. Former Big Brother star Imogen Thomas, 28, has been served with a High Court gagging order, banning her from revealing the identity of a football player she had an affair with. The player -- described as a "family man" - allegedly cheated on his wife in a six-month fling with the model.

Mark Stephens, a media lawyer with London-based Finers, Stephens Innocent, said Mr Marr's decision highlighted that the current super-injunction system, which prevents the naming of people, was "untenable going forward. …

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