28/11/2008

PM Denies Any Part In 'Astonished' Tory's Arrest

Gordon Brown has denied his government played any part in the arrest of a senior opposition MP, who was questioned by police last night over an alleged information leak.

Police held the Tory immigration spokesman Damian Green (pictured) at his Kent home as part of an investigation into the release of sensitive Home Office material.

The 52-year-old MP was quizzed for nine hours while counter-terrorism police searched his offices.

Conservative Leader David Cameron described Mr Green's treatment as "heavy-handed", and said the "unprecedented" arrest raised serious questions.

"I think these are extraordinary and rather worrying circumstances," Mr Cameron said.

"What seems to be the case is that he was arrested for making public information that the government did not want to have made public," he argued.
News Image
Metropolitan police officials said the swoop was prompted by a complaint from the Cabinet Office, which is charged with overseeing the conduct of all government employees and ministers.

Police said they alone had made the decision to detain Mr Green.

The Prime Minister and other senior ministers have insisted the Labour government had played no role in the investigation.

However, Mr Cameron insisted: "If they wanted to talk to Damian Green, why not pick up the telephone and ask to talk to him?"

He said the events could have "exceptionally chilling effect" on the ability of members of Parliament to "do what they have to do".

Speaking outside the House of Commons earlier today Mr Green said: "I was astonished to have spent more than nine hours today under arrest for doing my job.

He added: "In a democracy, opposition politicians have a duty to hold the government to account. I was elected to the House of Commons precisely to do that and I certainly intend to continue doing so."

(PR/KMcA)

Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

06 June 2006
Muslim leader comments on terror raid
The new leader of the Muslim Council of Britain has warned that trust between Muslims and the police could be damaged following a raid by anti-terrorist police in east London.
06 January 2012
Man Jailed Following Armed Robbery
A man extradited back to the United Kingdom to face charges over an armed robbery committed in 2005 has been jailed at court today. Mohamed Hassan, 24, of no fixed abode was sentenced at Wood Green Crown Court to 8 years imprisonment.
23 August 2007
Fourth Arrest Over Biker Murder
A fourth man has been arrested in connection with the murder of biker Gerard Tobin. Mr Tobin, 35, of south London was shot dead as he travelled home on the M40 from the Bulldog Bash bikers' festival at Long Marston near Stratford, Warwickshire on August 12.
23 August 2004
MSP among arrests at Trident naval base protest
A Green Party MSP is among a number of people arrested by Strathclyde police today as peace protesters attempted to blockade the home of Britain's nuclear deterrent.
03 December 2013
Teenager Stabbed To Death In London
Police have said a teenager has been stabbed to death in north London. Officers were called to a property on the North Circular in Palmers Green at around just before 1am. They found a male at the scene. It is thought the victim is 17-years-old. He was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after 1.