Sun beats injunction bid to reveal Steve McClaren affair - Press Gazette

Sun beats injunction bid to reveal Steve McClaren affair

The Sun saw off an injunction bid from former England manager Steve McClaren to publish details about an extra-marital affair yesterday.

Numerous such injunctions have been granted in recent years leading to a sharp reduction in tabloid ‘kiss and tell' stories.

But The Sun overturned an 11th hour bid to gag the paper on Saturday night after the paper successfully argued that the story was in the public interest.

Asked what swung the argument in favour of publication, Sun interim managing editor David Dinsmore told Press Gazette: 'The fact that he had a previous affair and had talked about it definitely had some bearing on it, and also that he appeared with his wife by his side when he took the England manager's job and also when he resigned.

'The judge was very clear that he was a public figure and that when he was England manager he was holding a high-profile job. What came through was you can't have your cake and eat it.

'It was very much a balancing act between article 8 [of the Human Rights Act – privacy] and article 10 [freedom of expression] and in this case the judge came down on our side."

According to The Sun, up until Sunday morning McClaren had managed to keep the affair secret from his wife and he was forced to make a breakfast confession.

Yesterday's Sun Sunday front page detailed the revelations of Saima Ansari, who has previously had an affair with another ex-England football manager – Sven Goran Eriksson.

In its leader column on Sunday, the Sun said: 'The England manager's job is the most high-profile position in the country.

'You become one of the sport's most recognisable faces forever and the public expect decent behaviour.

'Steve McClaren presented the image of a happily married family man while privately having an affair.

'It is time football learned lessons from our Olympic stars. We want heroes with morals.

Press Gazette understands that The Sun was also able to argue on Saturday night that a permanent injunction was unlikely to be granted.

Last month, a number of interim privacy injunctions involving high-profile figures and the press were discharged – those involving JIH, ETK, MJN, TSE, ELP, XJA and NOM.

This was because the court ruled that such interim orders could not be left in place indefinitely without proceeding to trial.

It is unclear whether the details of the stories involving those individuals can now be published, but the fact thatt they took the legal actions remains subject to reporting restrictions.

Author: Dominic Ponsford

Dominic Ponsford is the editor of Press Gazette