Guardian gagged – for a couple of hours
Fascinating story breaking in the UK today about the gagging of the Guardian, which has been prevented from reporting on a parliamentary question tabled for the House of Commons this week. ”The Guardian is also forbidden from telling its readers why the paper is prevented – for the first time in memory – from reporting parliament,” according to guardian.co.uk. “Legal obstacles, which cannot be identified, involve proceedings, which cannot be mentioned, on behalf of a client who must remain secret.”
Very interesting reaction on social media to all this. The Guardian may be prevented from naming the client (although it is allowed make reference to the involvement of media libel specialists Carter-Ruck), but check out Twitter, and the heavily-trending hashtag #trafigura, referencing the Dutch-registered company with an office in London which last month announced that it would pay out millions of pounds without any admission of liability over allegations that it dumped toxic waste in the Ivory Coast in 2006.
As I’m writing this, Carter-Ruck have apparently backed down. The Guardian has just confirmed : “that the parliamentary question from Paul Farrelly MP subjected to reporting ban was related to Trafigura toxic waste scandal.”