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.
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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."


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