British government seeks injunction against BBC report that could reveal spy’s identity

BBCTHE BRITISH GOVERNMENT IS seeking to stop the nation’s public broadcaster from airing a story that would allegedly reveal the identity of a British intelligence officer working abroad. The news emerged on Friday, when London-based newspaper The Telegraph said the British government had taken the unusual step of seeking an injunction against the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), in order to prevent it from “allegedly identifying a spy working overseas”.

Since then, the BBC and British government officials have refused to disclose even vague information about the program in question, or the precise nature of the injunction. However, the BBC did confirm on Saturday that the government had “issued proceedings against the BBC with a view to obtaining an injunction”. The purpose of the injunction, said the BBC, was to “prevent publication of a proposed BBC news story”.

When asked to provide information about the broad theme of the story, BBC representatives said they were “unable to comment further at this stage”. They did, however, stress that the broadcaster would not have been insistent on publishing the information, unless it felt it was “overwhelmingly in the public interest to do so” and unless it was “fully in line” with the BBC’s own editorial values and standards.

Meanwhile, the office of the United Kingdom’s attorney-general, Suella Braverman, has also confirmed that “an application” had been made against the BBC. A spokesperson added that it would be “inappropriate to comment further while proceedings are ongoing”. A court hearing is expected to take place on Thursday behind closed doors at the High Court in London. It is likely that a High Court judge could issue a ruling on the same day.

Author: Joseph Fitsanakis | Date: 24 January 2022 | Permalink

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