Was Hain Allowed to Use Parliamentary Privilege to Break Philip Green Injunction?

Peter Hain has heavily defended his use of Parliamentary Privilege to name Philip Green as the businessman behind the injunction against the Telegraph. But was he even allowed to do so?

Under a resolution on Parliamentary Privilege which the House of Lords adopted on 11 May 2000, Peers cannot use their Parliamentary Privilege to refer to any cases which are currently Sub judice – i.e. undergoing active legal proceedings – unless they have secured the approval of the Lords Speaker to do so at least 24 hours in advance. It also stipulates that “the exercise of the Speaker’s discretion may not be challenged in the House.” Did Hain seek formal approval from Lord Fowler in advance?

Additionally, the resolution sets out that the Lords Speaker should only grant permission for the Sub judice rule to be waived when, in their opinion, “a case concerns national importance such as the economy, public order or the essential services”. It may have covered the front pages but it is hard to argue that the Green case fell into any of these categories…

mdi-timer 2nd November 2018 @ 3:15 pm 2nd Nov 2018 @ 3:15 pm mdi-comment Comments
Who Was the “Intimately Involved in the Case” Hain Leaker?

Following Friday’s revelations, Lord Hain claims that his breaching of the injunction was “in my personal capacity as an independent member of the House of Lords. I categorically state that I was completely unaware Gordon Dadds were advising the Telegraph regarding this case… Gordon Dadds, a highly respected and reputable international law firm, played absolutely no part whatsoever in either the sourcing of my information or my independent decision to name Sir Philip. They were completely unaware of my intentions until after I spoke in the House of Lords.” Guido understands Gordon Dadds were indeed furious with Hain…

What isn’t explained is how Hain could not know that the firm he advises was involved, given their name is on the front page of the widely circulated injunction to which he was referring. Is he going to claim to be incompetent again – as he did when he was forced to resign from the Cabinet?

The Telegraph’s Editor Emeritus Ian MacGregor tells Guido that, contrary to the rumour reported here on Saturday, “I did not discuss the Green case with Lord Hain. I have not spoken to him for around 5 years to the best of my recollection. I was on holiday last week and was unaware of the identity of the Claimants until revealed by Lord Hain in the House of Lords.” Guido is happy to accept his assurance.

So who did tell Hain? How independent was Hain’s “independent decision” exactly?  He said it was someone “intimately involved” in the case – it is unlikely to be a lawyer. Philip Green is livid of course, “As many people have said, Lord Hain’s blatant disregard of a judgement made by three senior judges is outrageous.” Green takes a very dim view of Hain’s financial relationship with his enemy’s law firm.

A clue to the source is perhaps that when Hain named Philip Green in the House of Lords on Thursday at 14:43, The Telegraph were the first to report the naming an impressively few minutes later. Nobody else noticed…

mdi-timer 29th October 2018 @ 2:36 pm 29th Oct 2018 @ 2:36 pm mdi-comment Comments
Hain is Paid Adviser to Telegraph’s Lawyers

Great scoop from our friends at Legal Cheek, spotting that Peter Hain is a paid adviser to Gordon Dadds, the law firm who are representing The Telegraph in their fight to overturn Philip Green’s injunctions. Now whatever your view of super-injunctions – Guido is against them – it is not a good idea for lawyers or those working for lawyers to break them. It is also a bad idea for parliamentarians to act in the clear interests of people who pay them within parliament. In fact it is against the rules. Arguably Hain has helped the firm he advises circumvent the injunction and fatally undermined its efficacy.

Hain did say when he used privilege that he had been “in contact with someone intimately involved in the case”:

Sounds like that could be a lawyer working on the case. Judges do not take kindly to this kind of shenanigans and there could be repurcussions for the Gordon Dadds firm if they are found to have conspired with Hain to breach the injunction…

UPDATE: Lord Hain has responded in a statement claiming he was “completely unaware” Gordon Dadds were advising the Telegraph:

“I took the decision to name Sir Philip Green in my personal capacity as an independent member of the House Of Lords. I categorically state that I was completely unaware Gordon Dadds were advising the Telegraph regarding this case. Gordon Dadds, a highly respected and reputable international law firm, played absolutely no part whatsoever in either the sourcing of my information or my independent decision to name Sir Philip. They were completely unaware of my intentions until after I spoke in the House of Lords”

Well, he would say that…

mdi-timer 26th October 2018 @ 3:33 pm 26th Oct 2018 @ 3:33 pm mdi-comment Comments
Moment Hain Names Philip Green as #MeToo Super-Injunction Businessman

Peter Hain has used his parliamentary privilege to name Topshop boss Sir Philip Green in the House of Lords as the businessman with a super-injunction out against a new #MeToo scandal being reported. For those who didn’t get the “gags to riches” clue in The Sun’s headline this morning…

mdi-timer 25th October 2018 @ 3:21 pm 25th Oct 2018 @ 3:21 pm mdi-comment Comments
Arise, Lord Hain of Hypocrisy

The Rt Hon. the Lord Hain, ennobled yesterday, 24 November 2015:

“I, Peter Gerald Hain, do solemnly, sincerely and truly declare and affirm that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, her heirs and successors, according to law.”

Peter Hain MP, a year ago, 3 November 2014:

“The Lords are an archaic anomaly which fuels disillusionment with British politics. It exists purely on a democratic deficit which has been allowed to evolve unchecked for centuries… the fact is that people are fed up with an out-of-touch political class and the growing sense that Westminster is failing us all.”

What was it about the £300-a-day allowance that changed his mind?

mdi-timer 25th November 2015 @ 10:03 am 25th Nov 2015 @ 10:03 am mdi-comment Comments
Hain Gravy Train Hypocrisy

On 3 November 2014, not even twelve months ago, Peter Hain told his constituents he believed the second chamber should be elected:

“The Lords are an archaic anomaly which fuels disillusionment with British politics. It exists purely on a democratic deficit which has been allowed to evolve unchecked for centuries… the fact is that people are fed up with an out-of-touch political class and the growing sense that Westminster is failing us all.”

Yesterday, he became Lord Hain of Neath, writing in the Guardian that “it wasn’t an easy decision“, it had required “considerable thought“, but he concluded that “more peers in favour of reform are crucially important“.

What was it about the £300-a-day attendance allowance that changed his mind?

mdi-timer 28th August 2015 @ 11:31 am 28th Aug 2015 @ 11:31 am mdi-comment Comments
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