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PCC: ‘We’d have gagged press over Giggs’

The chairman of the PCC has said Ryan Giggs should have gone to them to prevent his name being revealed as that of the footballer alleged to have had an extramarital affair.

Baroness Peta Buscombe said the details could have remained private if only he had asked them instead of a High Court judge.

The PCC chief made the comments after Lib Dem MP John Hemming revealed in the House of Commons that Giggs was the footballer at the centre of a privacy row.

During a BBC  TV discussion she said the PCC would have told editors not to publish material about the footballer if he had approached the watchdog.

She said: “We deal with privacy all the time… if he [Giggs] had come to us – as people do every day – to ask us to stop information being published, we have an almost 100 per cent success rate in that.”

“We stop the press. If we think they’re interfering with people’s privacy where the bar of public interest has not been met, we stop them.

“The whole point about the PCC is we’re a fast, free service for the public and we are more active on privacy issues every day of the week than the courts… many more people are using us than are going to the courts.”

4 comments

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  • May 25, 2011 at 9:01 am
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    Am I the only one to find Baroness Peta Buscombe’s pledge bizarre ? The idea that the PCC should be the first port of call for adulterous celebrities wanting to sweep their indescretions under the carpet is not only ridiculous but deeply damaging for newspapers.

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  • May 25, 2011 at 9:59 am
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    The PCC are missing the point entirely. The PCC could have done nothing about the fact that people were using social networks to reveal his name. That still would have left the newspapers in an untenable position.

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  • May 25, 2011 at 12:15 pm
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    I thought the PCC had first to receive a complaint about a published article, from the subject of the article before they could act on it , or am I missing something ?

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  • May 25, 2011 at 2:07 pm
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    The PCC plays a valuable role and issuing “back off” advice has its place, in that wafer-thin realm of appropriate cases. On this story, however, it looks like the Baroness has called it wrong; High Court judges shouldn’t be encouraged to try and usurp Parliament’s law-making function. No doubt she stepped up to the microphone with the best of intentions – demonstrating that the PCC has teeth – but this was not the story to use.

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