Damian Green arrested by police

Damian Green, the Conservative MP for Ashford and Shadow Immigration Minister, has been arrested by the police, apparently over leaks from the Home Office about immigration matters, according to Sky and other news sources. Damian Green’s London and constituency homes, along with his Westminster and constituency offices have been searched, although he has not been charged.

The investigation is into an allegation of “conspiring to cause misconduct in public office”.

UPDATE:

Here’s the Sky report on Damian Green:

The Conservative Party’s statement is:

We can confirm that Damian Green was arrested earlier today in connection with his work as Opposition spokesman for immigration. Mr Green was arrested in Kent and taken for questioning at a central London police station. Officers from the Metropolitan Police also entered the House of Commons to search Mr Green’s parliamentary office. His home and constituency office were also searched. As shadow immigration minister, Mr Green has, on a number of occasions, legitimately revealed information which the Home Office chose not to make public. Disclosure of this information was manifestly in the public interest. Mr Green denies any wrongdoing and stands by his actions.

The Telegraph reports:

The arrest follows a series of leaks to the Conservatives about Government policy, including a sensitive memorandum from the Home Office’s most senior official on crime figures earlier this month.

David Cameron, the Conservative leader, is said to be “extremely angry” about the arrest and has privately accused the Government of “Stalinesque” behaviour.

Mr Green is understood to have been arrested at lunchtime today and is still in custody. He has not been charged.

Green has been arrested after obtaining leaked Whitehall documents. Police searched his family home and his office in the House of Commons.

He was arrested for “aiding and abetting misconduct in public office”.

It is claimed that nine counter-terrorism officers were involved in the arrest.

Mr Cameron has pledged his full support for the shadow immigration minister. In a statement he said: “Disclosure of this information was manifestly in the public interest. Mr Green denies any wrongdoing and stands by his action.”

However, the arrest of such a senior Conservative figure who hopes to become a Home Office minister will embarrass the opposition. He is now likely to face pressure to resign from the Tory front bench.

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21 Comments

  • Hywel Morgan 27th Nov '08 - 9:44pm

    I don’t have any details as to this, but they had better have a phenomenally good reason for arresting him.

    If mere posession of leaked information merits arrest then that majorly limits any sort of meaningful democracy.

  • This is terrifying. The purge begins.

  • Mark Williams 27th Nov '08 - 10:14pm

    Nine counter-terrorism officers for an alleged act of aiding and abetting misconduct in public office?

    That doesn’t sound like terrorism to me. Sounds like a political arrest. Am I right that this requires the clearance of the Speaker and the Home Secretary?

  • Hywel Morgan 27th Nov '08 - 10:34pm

    Well OTT for a person who is unlikely to be violent or resist arrest.

    “Am I right that this requires the clearance of the Speaker and the Home Secretary?”

    Don’t think so as regards the arrest. Maybe as regards the search of his Westminster office, There are some weird provisions about the Parliamentary estate though AIUI Parliamentary privilege doesn’t extend to protection from criminal arrest.

  • It clearly shows how 10 years of New Labour in power has led to a massive increase in authoritarianism in the public sector, where its placemen now simply look at rules and have become incapable of making judgements. Liberty in this country has never been under such a grave internal threat in over 100 years.

  • Hywel Morgan 27th Nov '08 - 11:44pm

    A thought:
    “It was a leak. Leaks happen. They’ve happened since the beginning of time…..
    There is no group of people this large in
    the world that can keep a secret. I find it comforting. It’s how I know for sure the government isn’t covering up aliens in New Mexico.”
    CJ Cregg, West Wing (Bad Moon Rising)

    If there is a political situation that can’t be covered by a West Wing reference then you probably haven’t watched it enough 🙂

  • Shouldn’t it be “misfeasance” in public office?

    This sounds like legal chicanery. They haven’t arrested him under Section 2 of the Official Secrets Act, have they? So there is unlikely to be anything classified involved. No, they are relying on breach of confidentiality being a crime (misfeasance in public office) if committed in the public sector.

    Will the wife who tells her husband to hurry up and get home now be prosecuted for her secondary participation in her husband’s speeding?

    But why are they doing it to a Tory?

  • To be fair isn’t it counter terrorism officers because the Met Special Branch was mearged with the Counter Terrorism Branch and 9 officers to search three premises is only three at each site.

  • Timing – Ian Blair has his last day in work to day. How about that for a conspircy theory!!

    Much more seriously, I am very disappoiinted that no one in our party has been interviewed on TV or appears to have made a statement objecting to this intimidation of a politician who, whether we believe his motives to be good or not, is being harassed for doing his job in holding the Labour government to account.

    After all we are supposed to be the party of Liberty.

  • This is completely horrifying. A member of the Opposition arrested by the ‘special police’?

  • David Evans 28th Nov '08 - 7:44pm

    Thanks Johnathan,

    I had missed that bit. Chris certainly wasn’t mentioned on the BBC or Sky News this morning at all, as far as the sizeable chunks I watched are concerned. Those programmes would have got us more wide ranging publicity, which is what we need.

    David

  • Mike Falchikov 29th Nov '08 - 6:52pm

    Perhaps it’s just as well that they were
    unarmed……. or else?

  • Deeply disturbing. I am not political but i am very frightened by this. The fact that the Speaker let police search the office of this MP, take his constituency files and thus preventing him from doing his job is staggering, unacceptable and one blunder too many from this man whose competency and impartiality I doubt. Can you imagine Betty Bothroyd allowing this? What worries me is this hounding is not new: think WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION and the DEATH OF DAVID KELLY. Raise opposition against this government at your peril people.

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