Lord Stoneham
The details of a superinjunction obtained by former RBS chief Sir Fred Goodwin were raised in the House of Lords today by Lib Dem peer Lord Stoneham, who claimed the injunction covers an alleged affair between Goodwin and a senior colleague.

Stoneham (pictured) was scheduled to ask a question during the session on behalf of Lord Oakeshott: "To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they will take to ensure that the public interest is taken into account in the granting of superinjuctions?"

Stoneham asked the speaker: "Would he accept that every taxpayer has a direct public interest in the events leading up to the collapse of the Royal Bank of Scotland?

"So how can it be right for a superinjunction to hide the alleged relationship between Sir Fred Goodwin and a senior colleague?

"If true, it would be a serious failure of corporate governance and not even the FSA would be allowed to know about it."

Justice minister Lord McNally replied: "I do not think it is proper for me, from this dispatch box, to comment on individual cases, some of which are before the courts."

The existence of Goodwin's superinjunction was originally revealed in March by Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming, who tabled a question about it in parliament.

The gagging order was claimed by Hemming to restrict the media from referring to Goodwin as a banker.

While superinjunctions prevent the media from reporting on their content or even existence, parliamentary privilege allows MPs to discuss both in parliament.

Goodwin stood down as chief executive of RBS in January 2009, shortly before the announcement of £24.1 billion worth of losses for 2008, the largest annual loss in UK corporate history.

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