The Guardian could go to court today to challenge a ban by lawyers Carter-Ruck on reporting Parliament, its editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger has reported on Twitter.
Last night, as explained at this link, the Guardian reported that it has been prevented from reporting parliamentary proceedings, specifically a question submitted by an MP.
The Guardian was prevented from identifying the MP who has asked the question, what the question is, which minister might answer it, or where the question is to be found. But bloggers and Twitterers quickly started spreading information about the case and speculating on what the question might be.
“I find it difficult to believe that the courts will try to gag free speech and the reporting of parliament in such a casual way,” the Guardian’s head of investigations, David Leigh, told Journalism.co.uk.
“I’m afraid they do it because firms like Carter-Ruck have become expert at pressing certain legal buttons. The failure of some judges to understand the nature of the foundations of democracy in this country is the underlying problem.”
Mainstream media outlets, except the Spectator, have yet to report the gag. The First Post today carries a profile of Carter-Ruck’s late founder, Peter Carter-Ruck: ‘The man who invented the London libel industry’.
Last month the Guardian reported how UK firm Trafigura had tried to cover up a ‘pollution disaster’ in the Ivory Coast. Writing for the title, George Monbiot also commented on the paper’s lengthy legal battle with Trafigura.