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Sir Fred Goodwin granted superinjunction

Parliamentary privilege used to expose gagging order.

Sir Fred Goodwin, the former chief executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland, has obtained a superinjunction against the press, a Liberal Democrat MP has revealed.

Backbench MP John Hemming used parliamentary privilege in the House of Commons to reveal that Goodwin had been granted the injunction in a criticism of the process.

The MP for Birmingham Yardley said: "In a secret hearing this week Fred Goodwin has obtained a superinjunction preventing him being identified as a banker."

Under normal circumstances, a superinjunction would mean the press would be blocked from reporting that an injunction had been granted.

Hemming's use of parliamentary privilege means the press can now report on the superinjunction, but not the issues it is protecting.

Labour MP Paul Farrelly employed a similar tactic when he exposed a Trafigura superinjunction against the Guardian in 2009.

A committee, led by Lord Neuberger, is currently investigating the use of superinjunctions. A verdict is expected by Easter.