Marc Wadsworth - Editor of The-Latest
Politically-inspired action by Britain's secret police that resulted in the arrest of journalist Damian Green MP, left, has been widely condemned. Green has allegedly leaked sensitive government papers to the press. He is the opposition Conservative Party's spokesman on the controversial issue of immigration.
Confidential memos from senior ministers given to journalists by Green, in his job as an elected public servant, have greatly embarrassed the administration of Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Spin doctors of Brown's ruling Labour Party have denied any role in the decision for police to arrest Green on Thursday and search his parliamentary and private offices.
On November 11, an unnamed Home Office official was arrested in the early hours of the morning by counter-terrorism police in connection with leaks.
Politicians of all parties, including former Labour Home Secretary David Blunkett, have condemned the arrests and so have Britain's newspapers.
Green's "crime list" includes leaking:
- An email from Home Secretary Jacqui Smith to Prime Minister Gordon Brown suggesting that they suppress figures which showed the true figure for immigration to Britain
- A list of Labour MPs who were going to vote for and against Gordon Brown for the leadership of the party.
- A memo from the environment ministry's permanent secretary, Dame Helen Ghosh, announcing serious budget cuts — at a time when Hilary Benn, the secretary of state, was making out they weren't any. The leak forced Dame Helen to defend it publicly in front of the Commons select committee for her department. It was made public by people — yes, there was more than one — who felt the ministry was being dishonest and hypocritical about its planned spending over green issues.
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