UK privacy laws lay in tatters this morning after an MP used parliamentary privilege to name Ryan Giggs as the player at the centre of an on going injunction row.
Lib Dem John Hemming - the same MP who named Fred Goodwin as the banker in a separate injunction case - said "with about 75,000 people having named Ryan Giggs on Twitter it is obviously impracticable to imprison them all." The MP for Birmingham Yardley also named the Times journalist Giles Coren as the individual facing contempt of court for naming another Premier League player with a privacy injunction.
House speaker John Bercow reprimanded Hemming, saying, "occasions such as this are occasions for raising the issues of principle involved, not seeking to flout for whatever purpose."
Mr Hemming retaliated, saying he wished to clarify the enforceability of a law which "clearly does not have public consent".
Within minutes of Hemming naming Giggs, mainstream media outlets used the protection of privilege to identify the footballer.
While few may care about the details of any relationship the Manchester United player may have had with Imogen Thomas, the 28-year-old Welsh glamour model and Big Brother contestant who claims to have had an affair with him, the married star's attempt to hide the allegations behind an injunction has made him an unlikely target for pro-transparency campaigners.
The events of yesterday will be seen as a blow for the judiciary, who only hours earlier rejected an appeal by News Group Newspapers to overturn the injunction.
After a second appeal last night was also rejected Justice Tugendhat acknowledged, "it is obvious that if the purpose [of the injunction] was to protect a secret then it would have now failed", but he argued that its purpose was to proect the footballer from "harassment".
Despite thousands of Twitter users openly discussing his identity and one Scottish newspaper publishing his picture on its front page on Sunday, publications in England and Wales remained unable to name the player - all that changed last night.
In the face of an aggressive tabloid campaign British Prime Minister David Cameron has come under increased pressure to prevent the high court granting injunctions protecting the privacy of wealthy celebrities.
Mr Cameron appeared to side with the media on the issue. Speaking to ITV1's Daybreak, Mr Cameron indicated that he knew the identity of the footballer with the injunction, "like everybody else".
He said the Government would look at the issue of super-injunctions but once again warned judges that it was Parliament's job to create law.
Earlier, he announced a joint parliamentary committee to examine the complex related issues of privacy, injunctions, the regulation of the internet and the role of the press complaints commission. He said the current position was "unsustainable" and "unfair".
Mr Cameron said, "It is rather unsustainable, this situation, where newspapers can't print something that clearly everybody else is talking about, but there's a difficulty here because the law is the law and the judges must interpret what the law is.
"What I've said in the past is, the danger is that judgments are effectively writing a new law which is what Parliament is meant to do.
"So I think the Government, Parliament has got to take some time out, have a proper look at this, have a think about what we can do, but I'm not sure there is going to be a simple answer."