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Meet the Home Office mole

Nick Robinson | 16:56 UK time, Monday, 1 December 2008

In the words of his lawyer, Home Office civil servant Christopher Galley "gave information which was important for the public to know" in a series of meetings held with the Conservative immigration spokesman, Damian Green, over the past two years.

Mr Galley sat silently as Neil O'May - who you may recognise as the man who represented Lord Levy in the cash-for-honours investigation - stated that "if ever there's a case of don't shoot the messenger, this is it".

Mr Galley's side of this story is now clear:
  • He did give "regular" leaks to Mr Green;
  • All of it was what his lawyer O'May describes as "embarrassment material" and not documents that would be covered by the Official Secrets Act such as those relating to state secrets, terrorism, national security or which would lead to "financial jeopardy";
  • There were no "inducements" offered by Mr Green to persuade Mr Galley to leak (his lawyer said that "the statement was clear re inducements" and it makes no mention of them);
  • He would have been happy to confess all to the police if they'd simply asked him rather than sending seven officers to his house to arrest him and then question him for 17 hours.

Update 19:48: What complicates this tale hugely is that it involves not just the politics of Westminster, but also the politics of the police.

Today was the deadline for applications for the top job in policing, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police - who, you might just have noticed, will be appointed by none other than the Home Secretary.

Among those who are believed to have applied today are:
  • the man who authorised the arrest of Galley & Green - Sir Paul Stephenson, Acting Commissioner;
  • the head of specialist operations at the Met which carried out the operation - Assistant Commissioner Bob Quick;
  • the man who today offered ACPO's backing for the way in which the Home Office has handled this inquiry - Chief Constable Ken Jones, the President of ACPO, who today issued a statement which will have been music to the Home Secretary's ears.

He writes that:

ACPO has shared the concerns of the Permanent Secretary (of the Home Office) regarding leaks from his department. The Metropolitan Police Service was properly asked to assist... The independence of UK law enforcement from undue influence and pressure is the jewel in the crown in our system of criminal justice. We should protect that principle, even when inconvenient, as it occasionally is. If an investigation reveals that any person may be involved in wrongdoing then they have the right to expect that we will investigate the matter in ways which seek to get at the truth and either sustain the allegation or exonerate them. No one can be above the law.


Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    Didnt brown want whistle blowers to blow their whistles?

    At least this Guy has got some BOTTLE.

  • Comment number 2.


    These regular leaks, are they the same type of leaks as your briefings from your own sources?

    What is the difference between the two, if there is?

    These leaks have been going on for over two years now, so how come the sudden rush to call plod in?


    Why was my blog of yesterday, 823 so offensive and referred? And your answer is what.......?

  • Comment number 3.


    so now exactly what is going on. Why is 'the mole' able to give a press conference through his solicitor.

    As there were no inducements how is it that the word 'inducements' has been used in BBC news reports, why has the term 'grooming' been used at all? Who gave the information to the BBC on which their earlier reports were made. I refer especially to 'grooming' used on the Today broadcast.

    we need to know who actually authorised the arrest of Mr Green, who gave permission for the raid on his parliamntary office, and when will they return his computer and other technological equipment.

    I regard this as a severe intrusion on the work of an MP, if they do this to him then what hope is there for any of us.

    The Prime Minister, who seems to be missing in action must make a full statement, with the Home Secretary by his side. I regard this whole process as totally unacceptable. Talk about a running commtary!

  • Comment number 4.

    I'd like to publicly thank Mr Galley - he did us a great service in exposing the incompetence of the HO in handling immigration. It is through the very brave efforts from whistleblowers such as he that Labours attempts to spin are undermined. If only more such would come forward and expose the lies we have been subjected to over the last eleven years.

  • Comment number 5.

    Wow! This is getting interesting.

  • Comment number 6.

    No surprise then!

    All in the public interest.

    But everyone knew that already

    Now it is up to the Members of Parliament to hold those responsible for this fiasco to account.

    No matter what their seniority.

  • Comment number 7.

    At least we have a clear explanation of what went on which is more than Gordon Brown who was leaking material in the 80's and 90's .Perhaps the police should now go back and investigate his crimes for that time bearing in mind that there is an admission of guilt openly made to Frank Bough in a tv interview.
    At least if they put Brown away for a while he couldnt do any more damage to this country.

  • Comment number 8.

    As with Mr. Green all the police had to do was pick up a telephone. The whole affair was intended to frighten and embarrass the victims.

  • Comment number 9.

    I thought Alistair and Mandy were the kings of spin?

    They had better get a grip and quick 'cos this story is spinning out of control and will cause casualties on the Labour side.

    What price a new Home Sec before the end of the week?

  • Comment number 10.

    Will you withdraw your previous blog posting?

    Given that it is now very clear that there was no 'grooming'.

  • Comment number 11.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 12.

    There you are, you see. Something of an overkill reaction by police, totally inappropriate of them to behave in such a high handed manner. Did they state the terrorism laws on this as well?

    Can't believe Crash Gordon knew nothing about it.

    Certainly been bad news day for Brown, first the Labour run Haringey Council debacle and now this.

  • Comment number 13.

    Oh dear, come on mods, you've been doing so well up 'til now.

  • Comment number 14.

    Why do we hear this now?

    Do I detect the construction of a smoke-screen behind which all parties run for cover?

    Who is paying this lawyer?

    Are we at the start of an establishment cover up?

    Let us recap: the police have raided Parliament, the Speaker let them, The Home Secretary thinks this is OK, The Leader of The House thinks not, the Prime Minster is waiting to hear what Mandy thinks, the Tories are supported by Tony Benn, and the nation is enraged.

    In that game of two halves in which twenty three men run around a defined grassy space in pursuit of a round object filled with air, they call this an `own goal'.

    I am not impressed with soccer but I can see its attraction.

    Neither am I impressed with this display of shoddy incompetence by the government and the Commons authorities. It is most unattractive and heads must roll.

  • Comment number 15.

    Out of curiousity, I had a quick look at Mr Peston's blog to see what his opinion on government leaks might be. I did not find any reference to them. strange that.

  • Comment number 16.

    Gordon had a little lamb
    Whose hair was white as snow,
    All except his eyebrows
    Which were jet-black, like a crow.

    He tried to write a budget,
    But Gordon shouted 'NO!'
    He made him borrow billions,
    And screamed 'OUR DEBT IS LOW!'

    So grumpy Gordon bullied him,
    His tears began to flow,
    Then Gordon lost in 2010---
    Brown, you reap just what you sow.

  • Comment number 17.

    Obviously NuLab ministers and their pet police officers consider embarrassing this government and it's infallible supremo as tantamount to High Treason.

    Hence all the Cambellson generated comments about 'state secrets'.

  • Comment number 18.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 19.

    Which is what I suspected and which is why well known right wingers like Dennis MacShane have gone to the press voicing their disquiet.

    The police definitely had political cover for these heavy handed actions.

    But it seems to have backfired stupendously.

    What we need now is a leak from within the treasury giving us the real numbers.

    As some have suggested, the big story is the fact that UKplc is going down the financial pan.

    Come on Nick - take a break from your undercover investigation of Mandelson's dealings with Russkies and dig into the PBR.

    Hint: Pick up on Ken Clarke's suggestion that Brown/Darling changed the sums at the last minute.

  • Comment number 20.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 21.

    It is a shame that the Tories weren't so keen on embarrasing leaks during the Belgrano Incident, the Westland affair which should have resulted in Thatcher's resignation, and the Arms for Iraq case. Inm those days they believed that leaking was wrong and leakers should e prosecuted. Now we have the Hug a Hoody and Lick a Leaker style of Tory from Cameron in Opposition.

  • Comment number 22.

    This is going to be a "Ruth Turner".

    He will be disappear into obscurity to collect his compensation package.

  • Comment number 23.

    Nick's blog is full of spammers
    And Derek Draper's trolls,
    Loyal, true-blue Tories
    And ordinary proles.

    We all want a better government,
    One that doesn't lie,
    'We tell the truth' Nu-Labour say,
    Yeah--- and pigs might fly.

    Gordon wants to rule us
    As if he was our King,
    He clawed his way to power
    And ruined everything.

    He wants history to love him,
    Blair was just the same,
    But what's really going to happen
    Is our kids will curse his name.

    The hole Nu-Lab are digging
    Deepens by the hour:
    They're a ragged bunch of hoodlums
    Desperate to stay in power.

    They're not a party any more,
    They're an empty shell,
    So don't condemn us to another term
    Of the government from Hell.

    Take heed fellow bloggers,
    Listen to my song,
    If you vote for Labour
    You'll do Great Britain wrong.

    We need a new beginning,
    An end to lies and spin---
    A party that won't spy on you
    'Cause you overfilled your bin.

  • Comment number 24.

    #9 brightonmike

    I thought Alistair and Mandy were the kings of spin?

    They had better get a grip and quick 'cos this story is spinning out of control and will cause casualties on the Labour side.


    I'll bet Mandy and Campbell are in their elements.

  • Comment number 25.

    Well, not quite, the psychosis quotient inside HMG is now through the ceiling as a state of fugue sets in and they search for anything else there might possibly be to let them off the hook. And that's not necessarily another mole, but a highly conveniently-timed association of the Opposition with something even darker. We live in interestibng times.

  • Comment number 26.

    Having just read that Harriet Harman is due to review the law regarding the intrusions that MP's might face - and bearing in mind that Labour have introduced more laws in a term of government than any other previous government in the last 40 years.

    Would it be cynical to suggest that the honorable member may actually suggest bringing in a new law to prevent this from happening again?

    Maybe - anyone caught leaking gets stoppered?

  • Comment number 27.

    Time for a lot of people to eat their words.

    Where did all those reports /leaks[?]come from saying he had reported to the police he was 'groomed' or induced.
    The police?
    The Govt?

    John Charles all over again. So Mr Galley told them 'everything' and this is it!

    Green was telling the truth. And Green was arrested on a fishing expedition so they could search without having to get a warrant signed off by a judge/magistrate - that would almost certainly have been an obstacle.

    This shows why Jaqui's excuse that she was not following events to be as bad is if she were.

  • Comment number 28.

    Why all this animosity against Gordon Brown and Labour? It seem's like all neocons have decided that they will demand Labour blood on BBC's blogs?

    You guys should get a life...

  • Comment number 29.

    And still Nick shows no incredulity at Greens arrest.

    Where is his curiosity about why Green was arrested.


  • Comment number 30.

    Noting one of the comments above I would like to say the treatment metered out to him was a disgrace and I would like to apologise on behalf of the British people, because the Govt won't.

  • Comment number 31.

    It appears that Christopher Galley has a very hot shot lawyer.

    I assume that you remain confident in your sources regarding the word you used to describe his relationship with Damian Green in your previous posting?

    Will they stand up in court if necessary?

    I trust that the phraseology used was cleared by BBC lawyers and that they remain confident use of the word to allow it to stay online?

  • Comment number 32.

    #12 flamepatricia

    I said virtually the same as you but I got moderated.

  • Comment number 33.

    O' the Hooky Pooky,

    Not so fast fledglings, the IN and OUTS of this investigation are certainly moving fast.

    Flamepatricia, no need to go damp and all wet on the issue, honestly, talk about the fisher man tale!

  • Comment number 34.

    Amazing what people say on here.

    A Lawyer representing a client states "There were no induicements"

    and that's taken as gospel, a fact that proves Green's innocence.

    Every court case has a Lawyer claiming certain points prove their clients innocence - Wrongly !! in many cases.

    What do you expect him to say>

  • Comment number 35.

    Hi Nick,

    I'd been wondering on what grounds the police had seized Green's computers from his parliamentary office as I'd always understood that the police needed some indications that they would find something in a raid before actually conducting a raid.

    Given that it now turns out that the source of the leak is saying that Green did not solicit the leaked material, I'm at a loss as to how the police justify the search of Green's office or his arrest. Any ideas?

  • Comment number 36.

    OK NICK, Now do your job, start digging, get all the relevant facts and Publish. Thats what we pay you for and it is the very least we expect.

  • Comment number 37.


    Looks like you were right not have taken me up on that wager doesnt it.

    Good call.

  • Comment number 38.

    The question is does anyone really care including the Tory party about this tale about a groomer and a Tory sycophant? Perhaps the real story is the Tories know that there are a few Labour MPs and a few liberals to boot who care more about the perceived freedoms they defend than what is going on in the real world. Perhaps they think that if they bash on enough about this rather boring subject enough dirt may stick to the Government and then they get a big lead back in the polls?

    I suspect though that those of us on the Clapham omnibus have a bit more on our minds right now

  • Comment number 39.

    Hi Nick

    Will you eat your words re "grooming" as that has clearly not happened? It has also been a disgusting Nu-Lab smear that you have kindly repeated for them.

    Will you also have a good word with "your friend" Michael Crick as Friday night's report on Newsnight was basically a 10 minute smear on Damien Green and The Tories.

    Haven't you guys figured out yet that Labour are doomed and you'll be negotiating with a Tory culture secretary in 18 months or less?

  • Comment number 40.

    I am fair minded, I may despise brown, labour and all socialism - but that is only because they deserve it.

    You can't condem the police based on one statement issued by the 'suspect'.

    While what was done to green was certainly wrong, and what happend to this guy seems wrong, there is still more info to come.

    The only logic for the (disgraceful) raid on the green would be that the police beleived that he had other material the he would destroy rather than admit to having...

    It would be stupid for galley to lie if the police had evidence to the contrary - so on what did they base their belief that there were other more secret documents in greens posession?

    I think it must mean that the home office have lost other far more sensitive documents (and know they are missing), and this is part of their desparate search for them. However it seems they have the wrong men - so there may be an even bigger mole (working for who?) who has made off with the other secret, missing documents...

    Who is this other mole and what have they made off with???

    Nick get digging - and do a better job than you did with mandleson/oleg...

  • Comment number 41.

    So, he wasn't 'groomed' then. Well done to the senior Labour politicians who have spoken out against this farce. They have shown that their integrity goes beyond partisan opportunism and deserve credit for that.

    I think that the Home Secretary and Speaker of the House may well lose their jobs over this and Brown, Mandelson and Campbell will have to be on their best behaviour...the public are on to them!

  • Comment number 42.

    why is it taking over an hour to get post through?

  • Comment number 43.

    Any member of parliament - indeed any person of whatever position in the fabric of the nation (including ministers of the crown and police officers) - has a duty to expose cant, hypocrisy, venial or more serious corruption, incompetence or any other dodgy business carried out in our name by government.

    Damian Green and Christopher Galley were undoubtedly honouring this responsibility in being the conduit of the information at issue. If Damian Green was actively seeking that such information should be passed to him - and perhaps encouraging an otherwise reticent Mr Galley to do so - that is to be applauded. Holding the government to account for its dealings is his job. It is a fundamental part of his role in representing the interests of his constituents.

    Whitehall - both civil servants and ministers - works for us. When they lie, mislead, obfuscate, cock-up or otherwise fail to do their job, we expect - demand - the right to know. The Official Secrets Act and other similar statutes are not there to facilitate the covering-up of governmental misdemeanours.

    The true crime has been committed by the current office holders and their lackeys, who appear to have put self-interest and back-covering in front of transparency. Whitehall - it appears - regards itself above the law.

    Is not the Palace of Westminster a Court of Law? If so, an MP's parliamentary correspondence (and therefore computers and other data storage containing that correspondence) are privileged court documents and therefore not open to police investigation. To allow this would be to break the duty of confidentiality to constituents.

    If Jackie Smith had any spine she would have clearly and publicly distanced herself from the invasion of parliamentary privilege - which exists specifically to protect the public. If Michael Martin had the wit to understand his duties as Speaker, he would have forbade the police raid on Damian Green's office in the House of Commons.

    Additionally, it is clear to many people who have been the victims of many crimes that it is open to the police not to investigate. Why did the Met choose not to exercise this prerogative when faced with such a staggeringly obvious conflict of interests?

  • Comment number 44.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 45.

    Surprise, surprise: Galley's statement confirms that that the police and government have almost certainly massively over-reacted.

    Galley denies Green ever 'conspired' which is what the police arrested him for. Rather, Galley says he provided the information off his own bat.

    Since Galley must have told the police this, how can the police possibly justify their actions?

    The basis for Green's arrest looks flimsy beyond belief, let alone reasonable doubt in a court of law.

    The only possible explanation I can think of is that the police arrested Green to see whether they could find anything incriminating in his papers/effects.

    I thought the police needed some evidence before they could arrest someone, let alone a shadow cabinet minister, but clearly not anymore.

    If I were Green, I would sure for wrongful arrest or worse.

    And if the above is proven to be correct, heads really must roll:
    - the Speaker should resign as he allowed the search without any real justification from the police
    - the police officers involved should be summarily dismissed for massively and unforgivably overstepping the mark and abusing their powers
    - and the Home Secretary herself should resign for presiding over such an unutterable, incompetent mess.

    We are not a banana republic, and that fact must be brought home to those involved.

  • Comment number 46.

    The whole Brown government leaks like a seive .( why the US don't give them any classified information ) Last week's PBR was carefully "leaked " to the media over the course of several days. Why didn't the terrorist squad raid your house Nick or the house of every other reporter at Westminster ? This is a government sponsorred exercise to scare whistleblowers who put the good of their country before the contemptible behaviour of their political masters. To go off thread, why are the BBC not asking questions about the EU's statement that Britain is ready to join the euro ? There was a quote which said " the people who matter have decided ". This of course is probably something the government does not want the BBC to talk about.

  • Comment number 47.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 48.

    I think this well and truly puts to bed any conspiracy theories and crap regarding the Conservatives and puts the ball right back in Brown and smith's court...all that 'grooming' toss was unbelivable and now it seems with good reason. I hope for some action against Martin and hopefully Brown too come wednesday! PMQs should be fun but let's not forget IT'S THE ECONOMY STUPID...Mandy and Ali's attempt was a good one but has now fallen flat.

  • Comment number 49.

    #45 bluntjeremy

    I thought the police needed some evidence before they could arrest someone, let alone a shadow cabinet minister, but clearly not anymore.

    I think anyone can be arrested under the Terrorism Act these days. This was used when the Government went into the Icelandic Bank, I believe.

    Be afraid.

  • Comment number 50.

    Obviously NuLab ministers and their police officers consider embarrassing this government and it's infallible supremo as tantamount to High Treason.

    Hence all the Cambellson generated comments about 'state secrets'.

  • Comment number 51.

    Wednesday should be an interesting day - if there were any justice in this world, we would have a new Home Secretary and a new (non-Labour) Speaker by the close of day.

    Brown, Smith and Martin have some very awkward questions to answer and this time it won't just be Opposition MPs asking them.

  • Comment number 52.

    In case my previous comment gets censored (again) I shall try to re-phrase it:

    The government obviously considers the leaking of information that discloses governmental incompetence to be a form of 'treason' (rather than just an embarrassment) - hence its propagandists and acolytes carping on about 'state secrets'.

  • Comment number 53.

    If the police were in possession of this evidence from the "co defendant" right from the start where is, "their reasonable suspicion," supporting the searches, arrest and detention of the M.P.

    There is none.

    They merely went on a fishing expedition at the behest of their Lord and Masters.

    What should concern everyone is that the police are now in possession of a lot of confidential material. There will be a lot of oohing and arrhing when they go through this material.

    It won`t be long before some of this gets into the public domain and into the hands of the Govt and Secret Services.

    This Govt should hang its head in shame. Did not some bozzo somewhere along the chain of command or in Govt work out the ramifications of this. It makes us look absoultely stupid to the rest of the world.

    Let Gordon Brown now try lecturing to third world dictators about democracy and freedom.

    Not only has this Govt made us financially bankrupt, it has made us morally bankrupt as well.

    How much worse can things get under this Government.

  • Comment number 54.

    Lots of Mods and Rockers out tonight

  • Comment number 55.

    Nick, what next? will the anti terrorism laws
    be used to anyone who opposes the Government?
    Will you have to watch what you print about Labour?
    How much further down can this Gov. go?
    This is amazingly awful.

  • Comment number 56.

    So if there was no "inducement" to leak (other than perhaps some hope of reward in the future in that boy's head), how can the Police build a case against Damian Green? They'll have to prove both of them to be liars, or the case will be thrown out long before the jury are asked to consider their verdict.

    This is very embarrassing for Gordon Brown. He can't make it go away, but he seems too stubborn to criticise the Police for being heavy-handed/cowardly to admit he was aware of at least the investigation. Of course that's his own fault.

  • Comment number 57.

    In the light of the mole's "coming out", it is more interesting than ever to wonder what Speaker Martin is going to say if the BBC's Row over Green 'grooming' claims is correct in stating that on Wednesday, "Commons Speaker Michael Martin will address Parliament about the raid on Mr Green's offices".

    I find it therefore not a little odd that at the time of writing, the House of Commons home page carries no news of this and simply shows:
    "At 11.30am The Commons will be summoned to the House of Lords to hear the Queen's Speech
    At 2.30pm Debate on the Address: First day

    This is confirmed by the Parliamentary Calendar, which simply adds that the Adjournment debate will be on Health services in Telford, lead by David Wright.

    I wonder why Martin hasn't had his address put on the calendar? It should still be worth watching BBC Parliament from 10:40 on Wednesday, when coverage of the state opening starts. It might even be more interesting to those uninterested in the procession to watch the bunfight on Parliament Live TV, where you can switch between the Commons and Lords chambers at will.

  • Comment number 58.

    I note with interest that there have been three departures from Haringey and none from HMG. It is tragic that a defenseless child should have fallen victim to the craven. It is unforgivable that democracy should be sacrificed on the alter on self interest. The Home Secretary has to go and go now. The rest of this shabby regime should follow without delay.

  • Comment number 59.

    #31 Economicallyliterate
    "It appears that Christopher Galley has a very hot shot lawyer.
    I trust that the phraseology used was cleared by BBC lawyers and that they remain confident use of the word to allow it to stay online?

    Excellent post, but they may already be at it. I've had two referred posts physically removed today that were on-topic and of which Bowdler would have been proud. They did, however, use the m-word.

  • Comment number 60.

    I'm not sure why my comment at "18" has not passed the moderators, so I'll try again.

    Nick, you say in your blog that it is clear from the press conference held by Mr Galley's solicitor that there were "regular" leaks to Mr Green. I have watched the press conference and can find no such indication. There is no use of the word "regular" to justify its inclusion in quotation marks in your piece. There is not even anything from which one could infer regularity.

    One wonders why you make this claim on your blog? It provides a slant not backed up by the press conference reported.

    Surely the interesting angle to take from the press conference is the complete denial of anything that would justify the line taken by the Home Secretary in her Marr interview and by other Labour politicians since Friday morning, suggesting (against anything in open evidence) that there is a national security bent to the documents Mr Green is alleged to have procured.

  • Comment number 61.

    23 power_2_the_ppl

    Great post !!!!!!!

  • Comment number 62.

    23. power_2_the_ppl


    Very good,

    whens your album coming out?

  • Comment number 63.

    Hardly a revelatory statement. We could certainly free up a lot of prison space if we just start assuming that if people say they're innocent, they are.

    It seems a bit odd, if this really is nothing more than the usual leaking process, that the police have got involved in this way.

    Putting two and two together, the best guess is that probably a role in a future Tory administration was dangled in return for a steady flow of dirt.

    What if 90% of the senior civil service were card-carrying political activists of one party, who leaked all information about the others that they could find, whether in government or opposition. Would that be good for democracy?

  • Comment number 64.


    and this time it won't just be Opposition MPs asking them.

    Oh yes they will. Nobody on the Labour side will dare break ranks. They had their chance back in the summer when Gordon's fingernails were bitten to the quick and he had the haunted look of a man who knew he'd been rumbled.

    And they bottled it.

    They're now destined to be associated forever with the economic, social and constitutional meltdown that this most incompetent government in history has wrought. And they've put the laws in place for a vengeful Tory government to hold them to account.

    Show trials all round in 2010.

    And if we don't convict 'em the first time we can always try a second time.

    And people thought Margaret Thatcher was losing the plot towards the end of her reign. Gordon Brown is a clear and present danger to all our wellbeing. He has now irretrievably destroyed the economy and the social unrest that will inevitably follow will take a generation or more to resolve. Thanks to this governments staggering incompetence and their supporters blind hatred of the other lot we are shortly to become as relevant to world history as the once mighty Portuguese.

    All the yanks fault no doubt. Or the banks. Or Margaret Thatcher's.

  • Comment number 65.

    OK, so now according to some posters we must believe innocence because the man's lawer said so.......

    By that token most who appear in our courts are innocent......

    Get real people, he's not going to say he received inducement, payment or promise from Green is he? Green has yet to state he did nothing illegal, he used the subjective term wrong. I imagine he has lawers currently looking to find out if he can state the he acted legally at all times, and that the final analysis will be borderline.

    One last point we only know about the information Green published we do not know all information that was passed, nor do we know what other information this man had access to. If you cannot keep to the OSA don't sign it.

  • Comment number 66.

    not even mp's are above the law so let's await the evidence stop speculating and STOP spinning its pathetic how the "BBC" join in, with the presspack, going with the flow .
    get serious on serious issues.

  • Comment number 67.

    Full credit to Mr. Galley for having the honesty to inform an MP of matters that were in the public domain, none was related to terrorism.
    Why therefore was the MP concerned and also Mr. Galley arrested? This, it appears to have shocked NuLab politicians, not to mention Old Labour, i.e Tony Benn and again, credit to those who have spoken.
    I am a Conservative voter and always have been but credit where credit is due.
    11 plus years of NuLab, its spin, dicatorship and misuse of the economy, education, farming, the NHS, immigration, law & order, etc,.etc., has left a broken Britain.
    I am in despair, we once had so much to be proud of , now thanks to Blair (who knew when to get out) we have nothing except a huge debt and the suicide pill beckons!

  • Comment number 68.

    Interesting list of applicants for the top job at the Met! I wonder how you came by it?

    I imagine that job applications are a confidential matter and someone has "leaked" this? I would hope the Metropolitan Police Authority will launch an independent inquiry as to the source of the leak.

    I trust they know where you live if they need to find the source of the leak?

  • Comment number 69.

    Just to add to the fun. Who was it who informed Boris and Cameron prior to the arrest of Damien Green and the search of his offices?

    Whatever the rights and wrongs of the arrest and search is it now OK to give out notice of such actions to associates of the subject of the warrant? Or are MPs exempt? Would such action have been deemed OK if it had been a Sinn Fein MP? Just as well as they refused to take the Loyal Oath?

    My point is where do you draw the line?

  • Comment number 70.

    Come on NuLabour, give us just one reasonable hypothesis as to why Green was arrested by Counter Terrorism officers, detained for 9 hours and had his offices raided and computers confiscated.

    One of you must have at least one idea.

    Oh yes and Derek that video was for real, thats what you find on the streets of London now.

    And whats more they are actually about to be assigned to deal with 999 calls as well.

    God help us.

  • Comment number 71.

    So these people have given very clear statements:

    1. Damian Green

    2. The Police

    3. Christopher Galley

    That just leaves:

    1. The government to answer all the areas of 'grey' concerning ministerial involvement and knowledge in the affair (which are summarised in Dominic Grieve's 50 questions)

    2. Michael Martin to give his statement on Wednesday.

    I do not imagine Gordon or Jackie will give firm and clear statements, but I would like to be proved wrong.

  • Comment number 72.

    post no. 47 should say

    'Of course Galley and Green are entirely innocent, they can't have done it because they're Tories, and so must be decent chaps. They are only standing up for the ordinary person, like Tories always have done since the Corn Laws were repealed. It should be Smith, Martin, Brown, Mandy and Campbell who are in the dock, country's going to the dogs, even my portfolio of property and banking shares has underperformed recently.'

    Is that allowed? This was a free country once when Thatcher and Tebbit were running it.

  • Comment number 73.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 74.

    #28 impartialnot
    "Why all this animosity against Gordon Brown and Labour? It seem's like all neocons have decided that they will demand Labour blood on BBC's blogs? You guys should get a life..."

    And it seems you assume that anyone who opposes NuLab's "provo" unionists must be in thrall to the "official" unionists. There are even many from old Labour who disagree with them, let alone all the home rulers from the LibDems to PC and the SNP.

    Anybody who cares about democracy at all must be concerned that the state has had access to all of Green's constituents' confidential correspondence with him.

    And for what? Actions of Mr Galley for which the police have not made a charge more than two weeks after his arrest. I will personally be very surprised if Messrs Galley and Green are ever brought to court, let alone convicted of anything.

    It would also seem from your first "What happened to unbiased journalism?" to this evening's If you wondered, I've reported a series of comments to the moderators because they are just to stupid libelous/defamatory and does not belong to a moderate site like BBC. that you've appointed yourself as our unofficial moderator's helper.

    I doubt you're ashamed of yourself, but others may just see this comment before you refer it and at least know the truth.

  • Comment number 75.

    My best guess at the sequence of events is a Henry VIII moment from The Maximum Leader 'Will no one rid me of this mole...?'

    With her face duly eaten off by Brown, Von Smith repeated the exercise on some mandarin with veiled or not-so-veiled threats of what his P45 would look like.

    And so the poor chap without a clue who to blame or where to start called in Plod. Culminating in this Galley chap being arrested as far back as 11th November apparently.

    Mind you, that's where I just don't get it. Having arrested the 'culprit' (Galley) all the government had to do was say 'thanks very much', see ya. Plod had done their job - found the chap who was 'leaking'.

    Who got it into their head to go after an MP for receiving leaked information? What kind of chain of command allowed it to escalate to this point? Are senior police and Home Office officials so clueless that they didn't see how this was snow-balling and start winding their necks in or asking for adult guidance?

    Are we seriously to believe that in the two weeks since this Galley chap was identified nobody briefed Herr Smith that the police were going after an MP?

    Did nobody get out their big book of parliamentary procedure and find a way to nip the arrest of an MP for doing his job in the bud? I dunno, maybe give The Speaker the heads-up that he was about to be approached by Plod and he should knock them back?

    It goes to the heart of what is wrong with this government. They just have no idea of what they've been given. What they've been entrusted with.

    Or if they do understand they seem to take great joy in recklessly destroying it. The economy, the balance of trust between government and citizen, the legal and constitutional safeguards that have served us well for centuries.

    They are a bunch of incompetents and vandals. No thought for the consequences of anything that gets into their diseased minds.

    This will not end well.

  • Comment number 76.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 77.


    The government have got into hot water on this issue again!!

    They have accidently sent an e-mail to the Conservatives which outlines how the Government are preparing the Speakers Wednesday statement.

    The Conservatives rightly object and say:

    "This is a completely improper meeting convened by the government privately with the Commons authorities and senior civil servants to manage the Speaker's statement without representation from other parliamentarians.

    This is precisely the sort of leak that should make it into the public domain. We insist on being present at this meeting along with representatives from all political parties to discuss the issues on the agenda.
    [Broken URL removed by Moderator]here

  • Comment number 78.

    Quite hard to get a decent look at the picture of Mr Galley, he does look rather happy, on the other hand he may look as though he needs to go for a leak.

    I'm sure young Brownedov will have a more interesting take on Mr Galley.

    O'may O' my, thats a heavy duty lawyer?

  • Comment number 79.

    Is it that case that people dressed as police and probably armed can turn up at Parliament building and gain admittance.

    So Alkeida can just now send 10 terrorist to the opening of parliament with a false search warrant and gain admittance.....

    Surely not - ministers have to be involved to ensure a 9/11 or India massacre does not take place.

    We are told by Jacqui Smith - terrorist can be very clever....

    shes needs to stop being so dumb then!!!!

    Be more clever not less.

    How can we tell real police from alkieda police... Ms Smith ?????

    Wait till they shoot ?????

    It should take 20 hoops for police to gain entrance to such a public building.....

  • Comment number 80.

    37 Carrots

    What exactly was the wager?

    I'm not on here 24/7 like some some so I may have missed it, I actually spend some time at what we call WORK.

    Was the wager about the Green affair, if so I really find it hard to see how you reach a conclusion as yet.

    Is it beacause the Tory Party activist Leaker's own legal representative says all his leaks were in the public interest and there was no inducement?

    Must be true then, case closed.

  • Comment number 81.

    Labour Party badly affected by the return home of Polish plumbers: yet another leak!

    The Tories have accused ministers of seeking to exert influence over the Commons speaker ahead of his statement about the Damian Green leak row.

    They say a leaked e-mail shows Commons leader Harriet Harman inviting Home Secretary Jacqui Smith to discuss the statement with parliamentary officials.

    The Tories said such a meeting would be "completely improper".

    The speaker is to make a statement amid anger from MPs at how police were able to search Mr Green's Commons office.

    Story from BBC NEWS:

  • Comment number 82.

    Your collegue Carol Walker said the sloicitors refused to comments on whether inducements were offered .
    That is inaccurate.

  • Comment number 83.

    News Flash

    Dozens of MI5, Special Branch Officers along with the Anti Terrorist Squad have been rushed to Newmarket for it is rumoured that some stable lads and lassies are beieved to be carrying out GROOMING which in Browns Britain is now illegal and jeopardises National Security


  • Comment number 84.


  • Comment number 85.

    On this blog, the level of ignorance of the Law, the separation of powers between Government and Police/Judiciary, parliamentary privelage and what it means, is staggering or intentional, not sure which.

    All the righteous indignation that the Police should have the gaul to investigate an allegation against a tory MP, when clearly they should have realised that he would be above the Law.

    If ever there's an allegation that a top politician was a user of Class A drugs such as cocaine, no doubt they'll conclude that the person in question is "entitled to a private past"

  • Comment number 86.

    Right. So the two people who have been arrested and questioned have both said they are innocent. So that is apparently that, in the view of many/most on here. The police should just all go home, stop their enquiries, and take the word of a politician and someone who is a declared liar (since I assume he promised to uphold the law and to fulfill his employment contract before he was given his salary). There has by common consent been a crime - after all, if it had been a burglar who had obtained this material and then given it to Green there would have been no question of that, and it's a bit difficult to see any difference in principle. Of course, there is a defence available in both cases of 'the public interest', though that seems to be seen as the 'Conservative Party's interest' by many.

    This willingness just to accept the plea of the plaintiff as the truth without further ado is novel in our system, but at least it will reduce the pressure on the Courts very substantially.

    For myself, I await the evidence - all of it, not just one side - before leaping to any conclusions.

    As for your somewhat scurrilous 'Update' Nick, just what are you suggesting? Not like you to be backward in coming forward. I'm surprised to see you pandering to the conspiracy theorists in this way, on the basis of no evidence whatsoever.

  • Comment number 87.

    Can it be long before we find out which school this Christopher Galley went to?

    No doubt it will be a top priority to find out if went to Eton.

    Remember guys. Smear the man - bury the message.

    'Grooming'. 'State secrets'. 'Bullingdon toff'. 'Margaret Thatcher'.

    Anything at all to deflect attention away from the fact that our economy is smoked and our government is in the grip of a lunatic.

  • Comment number 88.

    With all the goings on re Damian Green there is very little comment on the fact the Pound may be soon replaced by the Euro.

    According to the President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, the UK is 'closer than ever before, to joining the Euro'.

    Why is it that the first we hear about this is from a 'leak' from the EU? Brown dare not make this announcement, yet he has done nothing to contradict it.

  • Comment number 89.

    51# Crowded Island

    Actually what are those awkward questions?

    Why did you not impede a legitimate Police Investigation?

    Do you think MPs should be above the Law?

    Why do you not break the centuries old convention of "separation of powers"

    That sort of question?

    You are one of dozens on here claiming that questions must be answered, well what are they?

  • Comment number 90.


    I wouldn't worry too much about Nick on that front.

    You don't get the nickname "

  • Comment number 91.

    so, would this arrest and searches have taken place in a county where the Chief Constable said 'no, I don't like this one bit, not on my patch' or would the Chief Constable's view have been superceded by the 'anti-terror aspect as one earlier poster suggested?

    Has Chief Constable of Kent, Mike Fuller spoken about this yet? (still nothing on main Kent Police news page). He too is considered a coming man in the force, even being tipped for the Met job, and of course, being from a Caribbean background would be politically attractive the present Government.

    Lest it be forgotten, Kent County Council tax payers have had to bear much of the burden for many aspects of immigration which is why a Kent Conservative party MP and the use of anti terror laws (channel tunnel, ferries, Canterbury Cathedral for instance) increases the interest in all of this even more.
    The irony (and frustration) remains that throughout the period of the last Conservative government, and even with a Kent port Home Secretary, they didn't initiate the single most simple change to immigration possible.
    Namely, to record who was leaving and who was arriving at the Kent ferry ports. Labour have now had 11 years to do the same and they too still haven't managed to issue an HM Stationary notepad and pencil to the people at the ports either. The result is that we haven't a clue who is here or who has left.

  • Comment number 92.


    I wouldn't worry too much about Nick on that front.

    You don't get the nickname "Toenails" for nothing you know.

    ( If you are puzzled by the above then just think about it for a moment, especially taking into consideration the well worn phrase and practice of "Brown Nosing", particularly with a similar namesake in mind )

    Do you know some, including myself, look on David Icke as a bit "off the scale" as it where, but looking at Nick Robinson you begin to see he may have a point about "Repeaters".

    Isn't that right Nick?

  • Comment number 93.

    This isnt about what was going on with DG, this is about who let the dogs out.

    And if the dogs are letting themselves out why is that happening and who is calling them to heel. That is the issue. It is very difficult to nail a reciever of leakage and it is likely to fizzle out, as usual, at great cost to the taxpayer. If the mole was the target you come back to who let the dogs out.

    It is rather funny that the anti terror type tactics promoted so hard by some MPs do not seem to be so welcome when they are targeted at their buddies, bit like the opposition to FOI requests relating to MPs. Okay when implemented against everybodyelse, just not MPs.

    Is everybody now happy with the latest proposals for data collection. Who is going to be letting the dogs out on that if it comes through. More and bigger and genetically modified dogs.

  • Comment number 94.

    The future of our country
    Is looking bleak indeed,
    After 11 years of Labour
    And their tricks and sin and greed.

    Incompetence is rewarded,
    Jacqui cracks the whip,
    History is rewritten
    In Labour's iron grip.

    It's time for Nu-Lab heads to roll,
    Things have gone too far,
    The time for change has come at last:
    This government is sub-par.

  • Comment number 95.

    The police have acted ludicrously. I think few people can argue with that.

    However, this does not appear to be the work of some noble whistle-blower, someone a la Clive Ponting, a political neutral who wrestled with his conscience and then thought, sorry, I must let the world know. This is someone with a political agenda using his position expressly to embarrass the government. It may even emerge that he was encouraged to take up the position by Green. We'll have to wait and see.

    But while I can accept that this reflects very badly on the police and the way they have treated parliamentary privilege, I'm very uncomfortable with the idea of getting down a foxhole to support a partisan political hack who , allegedly, infiltrated a government department and rifled thorugh the filing cabinets. Talk about dirty tricks. In fact you could argue this will make it very difficult for real whistle blowers, people acting in public and not party interest, to be be able to get information out in the future.

  • Comment number 96.

    So its ok if its a labour leak but not if another party leaks it.And just how are we to know when we are being lied to.

  • Comment number 97.

    Please make Mr Galley a Lord .
    If Peter Mandelson can be elevated to the House of Lords , Mr Galley should be too for services rendered to the country.
    He is now facing the ZANU Labour police for exposing the truth ( inconvenient and uncomfortable for his political masters )
    He is a brave man and should be rewarded !!
    At least he made the Home Secretary look like the small partisan politician she is really is .
    She should stop digging now and be forced to resign if this government had any dignity left.

  • Comment number 98.

    re: 62, carrots

    Lol thanks.

    You may be interested to know I've got a poem in the works called 'Lamont's Lament' in which the eponymous hero expresses his sorrow at Darling's usurpation of his nickname.

    But I'll save that for another blog...

  • Comment number 99.

    Thanks fellow bloggers!

  • Comment number 100.

    Well there are three candidates going nowhere and going to fail...

    And when there is a change of Government, - which will happen - I cannot see their future being bright.

    The Police are now politicised. Official.

    Time for us the voters to elect Chief Constables.#

    Catching criminals is more important than leaks...

    # None of the above would get a vote from me.


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