Is it the Sun what lost it?

An alternative view on the Giggs injunction.

The Sun can publish the name of Ryan Giggs, and so can we. So can, it would appear, over 70,000 Twitter users. And we can all connect Mr Giggs to Imogen Thomas and the allegation of an affair.

As it stands, the Sun cannot do much more than that. The terms of the injunction, which is still in place, would appear to prohibit the Sun from publishing the details of the alleged relationship, rather than just the fact of its existence.

But it is the details which make the "kiss and tell" commercially worthwhile: the information for which the notorious chequebook is used. The Sun, previously in a position where it was at a disadvantage to Twitter users, is now on the same footing as any other Twitter user. However, it cannot print the account of the relationship it would like to because it is injuncted, and Twitter users cannot because they simply do not know. And the Sun is unlikely to share that information.

Some media lawyers are now wondering whether the Sun has won any significant victory after all. The internet and a foolish MP may well have assisted in removing the anonymity of this particular injunction; but it may be that the Sun has still not gained any commercial advantage, and they have been saddled with the high legal bills as well.

This may be media lawyers just being optimistic about a bad outcome; but one must wonder how often a tabloid will mount a similar exercise again if, as it now looks, they are ultimately still unable to commercialise their story.


David Allen Green is legal correspondent of New Statesman



David Allen Green is legal correspondent of the New Statesman and author of the Jack of Kent blog.

His legal journalism has included popularising the Simon Singh libel case and discrediting the Julian Assange myths about his extradition case.  His uncovering of the Nightjack email hack by the Times was described as "masterly analysis" by Lord Justice Leveson.

David is also a solicitor and was successful in the "Twitterjoketrial" appeal at the High Court.

(Nothing on this blog constitutes legal advice.)

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I believe only Yvette Cooper has the breadth of support to beat Jeremy Corbyn

All the recent polling suggests Andy Burnham is losing more votes than anyone else to Jeremy Corbyn, says Diana Johnson MP.

Tom Blenkinsop MP on the New Statesman website today says he is giving his second preference to Andy Burnham as he thinks that Andy has the best chance of beating Jeremy.

This is on the basis that if Yvette goes out first all her second preferences will swing behind Andy, whereas if Andy goes out first then his second preferences, due to the broad alliance he has created behind his campaign, will all or largely switch to the other male candidate, Jeremy.

Let's take a deep breath and try and think through what will be the effect of preferential voting in the Labour leadership.

First of all, it is very difficult to know how second preferences will switch. From my telephone canvassing there is some rather interesting voting going on, but I don't accept that Tom’s analysis is correct. I have certainly picked up growing support for Yvette in recent weeks.

In fact you can argue the reverse of Tom’s analysis is true – Andy has moved further away from the centre and, as a result, his pitch to those like Tom who are supporting Liz first is now narrower. As a result, Yvette is more likely to pick up those second preferences.

Stats from the Yvette For Labour team show Yvette picking up the majority of second preferences from all candidates – from the Progress wing supporting Liz to the softer left fans of Jeremy – and Andy's supporters too. Their figures show many undecideds opting for Yvette as their first preference, as well as others choosing to switch their first preference to Yvette from one of the other candidates. It's for this reason I still believe only Yvette has the breadth of support to beat Jeremy and then to go on to win in 2020.

It's interesting that Andy has not been willing to make it clear that second preferences should go to Yvette or Liz. Yvette has been very clear that she would encourage second preferences to be for Andy or Liz.

Having watched Andy on Sky's Murnaghan show this morning, he categorically states that Labour will not get beyond first base with the electorate at a general election if we are not economically credible and that fundamentally Jeremy's economic plans do not add up. So, I am unsure why Andy is so unwilling to be clear on second preferences.

All the recent polling suggests Andy is losing more votes than anyone else to Jeremy. He trails fourth in London – where a huge proportion of our electorate is based.

So I would urge Tom to reflect more widely on who is best placed to provide the strongest opposition to the Tories, appeal to the widest group of voters and reach out to the communities we need to win back. I believe that this has to be Yvette.

The Newsnight focus group a few days ago showed that Yvette is best placed to win back those former Labour voters we will need in 2020.

Labour will pay a massive price if we ignore this.

Diana Johnson is the Labour MP for Hull North.