Iain Dale, managing director of Biteback publishing says:
I am advised that proceedings for contempt for criticising judges have been considered obsolete in England and Wales since the end of the nineteenth century. Our lawyers are not aware of any such case having been brought in Northern Ireland in living memory. As a publisher I strongly support free speech, not least by our elected politicians, and we will therefore be vigorously defending this case.
As is normal in the case of memoirs of former cabinet ministers, we submitted the manuscript of the book to the Cabinet Office and the Northern Ireland Office for their comments in advance of publication. Neither office requested any changes to those parts of the book that relate to Judge Girvan
MPs join forces to call for legal action being taken against Shadow Welsh Secretary Peter Hain to be dropped.
Shadow Welsh Secretary Peter Hain is facing legal action over criticism of a judge made in his recently-published memoirs.