Peter Hain follows in the footsteps of John Hemming... and Peter Hain

Written by David Singleton on 25 October 2018 in Diary

Watch: The Labour MP has made use of parliamentary privilege. Again.

Sir Philip Green has been named in Parliament as the businessman facing multiple allegations of sexual harassment, racist abuse and bullying against him.

Former Labour cabinet minister Peter Hain revealed the name under parliamentary privilege, telling the House of Lords it was his duty to do so.

He said: “Someone intimately involved in the case of a powerful businessman using non-disclosure agreements and substantial payments to conceal the truth about serious and repeated sexual harassment, racist abuse and bullying which is compulsively continuing I feel it’s my duty under parliamentary privilege to name Philip Green as the individual in question given that the media have been subject to an injunction preventing publication of the full details of this story which is clearly in the public interest.”



Parliamentary privilege covers an MPs right to say in the chamber what would be prohibited (or libelous) outside. Hain’s actions come 18 years after he last used parliamentary privilege to name and shame five diamond dealers breaking UN sanctions in Angola.

He described five men as people who "make money out of misery", stating that one of them exported $4m worth of diamonds to Antwerp every month and "paid a monthly fee to Namibia officials in order to be able to operate without interference".

More recently, Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming used the parliamentary privilege to name Ryan Giggs as the married footballer named on Twitter over an alleged affair with a reality TV star.

Then chairman of the Commons culture committee John Whittingdale said he regretted Hemming's use of parliamentary privilege to name Giggs in 2011.

"Firstly because I think, if MPs think the law is wrong then we should change the law rather then flout the law," he said. "And secondly because the result of that is that the only thing being reported is the name of Ryan Giggs and we're rather losing sight of the bigger issue, which is how the law of privacy is operating in the UK."





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