Friday, 13 February 2009

Damian Green arrest - FOI outcome, charges decision?

Back in 2008 in the wake of the arrest of Damian Green MP I submitted FOI requests to the Home Office and to the Metropolitan Police. I asked the Home Office for
  • 1. Communications to or from the Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith MP, in relation to the potential arrest of Member of Parliament written or received after 1st November 2008 and before noon on Thursday 27th November 2008.
  • 2. Minutes or meeting notes where the Home Secretary was present between the dates and time as above.
  • 3. Written communications between civil servants in the Home Office, civil servants in the Cabinet Office and officers of the Metropolitan Police Service in relation to the potential arrest of an MP between the dates and time as above.
  • 4.Briefing notes or documents circulated to Ministers and others by civil servants in the Home Office that mentioned the potential arrest of Member of Parliament between the dates and time as above.
They have responded that in relation to requests 1, 2 and 4 they hold no information. This supports Jacqui Smith's statement that she had no prior knowledge of Damien Green's arrest.

In relation to Question 3, they have referred me to THIS, a memorandum of the roles of the Cabinet Secretary and David Normington in Mr Green's arrest.

I am considering whether this meets the terms of my request.

What is becoming clear is that this whole affair was orchestrated by mandarins, who felt they needed no political steer before extending their actions to a sitting MP.

The MPS have also responded today rejecting my request. This comes with news that Mr Green's bail has been extended until April; however, this flurry of activity may suggest a decision on Mr Green's prosecution is imminent.

I'll blog more on this when I've given more thought to the issues.

1 comment:

Guthrum said...

I have had a response from Liam Fox today, who has passed my letter to the Home Secretary asking for an explanation as to why ACPO a private limited company, that is not subject to FOI requests, or parliamentary oversight is now running the Policing and Security policy of the UK