Appeal court rules celebrity sex story ban can be lifted - but not yet


An injunction barring The Sun on Sunday from naming a celebrity said to have engaged in "extramarital activities" should be lifted, three Court of Appeal judges have ruled.

But they say the ban on publication will remain in place to give the man time to make an application to the Supreme Court - the highest in the UK.

Editors of the tabloid newspaper want to publish an ''account'' of the man's ''sexual exploits'' with others.

The man took legal action and earlier this year two Court of Appeal judges imposed an injunction - preventing the newspaper from identifying the man in an article.

Three appeal court judges said on Monday that the injunction should be lifted - following a challenge by lawyers for News Group Newspapers, publisher of The Sun On Sunday - at a Court of Appeal hearing in London.

Appeal judges Lord Justice Jackson, Lady Justice King and Lord Justice Simon analysed News Group Newspapers' challenge on Friday.

Lord Justice Jackson announced their decision on Monday.

Sun on Sunday editors argued that the ban should go because the man - a showbusiness celebrity and public figure - has been named in articles abroad and his identity could be found on the internet.

The man opposed the application and said the ban should stay in place.

Lord Justice Jackson said appeal judges had concluded that "knowledge of relevant matters" was "now so widespread" that confidentiality had "probably been lost".

"Much of the harm which the injunction was intended to prevent has already occurred," said Lord Justice Jackson in Monday's ruling.

"The court should not make orders which are ineffective."