Sally Bercow, the wife of Commons Speaker John Bercow, could be in trouble with the law and has seemingly suspended her Twitter account after breaching a court order by naming a schoolgirl who allegedly ran away with her maths teacher.

Mrs Bercow, already on a list of those who wrongly named or linked former senior Tory Lord McAlpine with child abuse claims, sent a message on Sunday night to her 59,000-plus followers on Twitter asking what happened to the teacher, Jeremy Forrest, 30, and reportedly named the girl.

The tweet was later deleted after Mrs Bercow was apparently warned about the order by journalists - though another message remained: "Forgive random question - just discussing with friend...".

She later told The Times she had suspended her Twitter account, saying: “Apparently, I shouldn’t have tweeted that. You need a law degree to be on Twitter nowadays. It’s ridiculous.”

sally bercow

Bercow was apparently warned about the order by journalists

"Before I go back on Twitter, I may have to take a course in media law," she added.

Forrest was arrested in Bordeaux in September.


Louise Mensch
Sally Bercow has deleted her account? That's a great shame. Hope it's to do with last night's hack & be restored soon.

He was returned to Britain and charged with child abduction.

In the initial stages of dealing with his case, the court made a Section 39 Order under the Children and Young Persons Act 1933, banning identification of the girl.

It is the second time in just a matter of weeks that Mrs Bercow's use of Twitter has resulted in problems for her.

On November 4 she tweeted: "Why is Lord McAlpine trending? *innocent face*."

She is accused of linking Lord McAlpine with a BBC Newsnight programme which made unfounded allegations of sexual abuse against a senior Tory at a children's home in Wales.

jeremy forrest

Jeremy Forrest was arrested in Bordeaux in September


Mrs Bercow has defended her tweet describing it as not libellous, "just foolish".

But the outraged peer and his lawyers did not agree and his solicitor Andrew Reid confirmed Mrs Bercow's name was on an extensive list of those against whom legal action might be taken. In response to reports she would be receiving a lawyer's letter from McAlpine on Thursday, she tweeted: "gulp".

She responded to suggestions she would be contacted by Lord McAlpine's lawyers by taking to Twitter again, posting:

"Thanks for phone calls/texts/tweets.

Quick Poll

Does the legal crackdown on tweets threaten our freedom?

VOTE


"I guess I'd better get some legal advice then.

"Still maintain was not a libellous tweet - just foolish."

On Sunday she also tweeted that she was "a bit scared to comment on trending topics nowadays".

And she also told her followers that she does "not have the money to contest a multi-millionaire".

Comments are closed on this entry for legal reasons