back to article Top transport plod to probe Tory leaker's arrest

The country's top transport police officer has been appointed by the Met to investigate the decisions that led to its arrest of Tory front bencher Damian Green last week for leaking Home Office documents to the media. British Transport Police chief constable and ACPO crime committee chairman Ian Johnston will report interim …

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Dead Vulture

Re: Reg Redesign

'Bitch of a Survey' story has been punted to the top of the pile.

What happened to El Reg claiming that it had stopped that malarkey so as to maintain chronology and the integrity of the homepage?

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possible silly question

but what does the arrest of an MP for leaking secret documents have to do with the transport police?

Anyone would think they aren't being serious about investigating why an MP shoul be held to the same laws as the rest of us peasants.

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Jobs for the boys...

anyone else would be told tough luck, your probebrly going to commit a crime inthe future anyway, oh and by the way. Your DNA now belongs to us and forget any jobs with kids...

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Paris Hilton

Transport?

Why a transport plod?

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Tim

Presumably

If he comes to the wrong conclusions then he will be arrested.

I still haven't seen a single explanation as to why anti-terrorism police were involved, hopefully this investigation will address this too and publish its full report.

Tim#3

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Transport?

Independence, or the appearance thereof.

"The British Transport Police are controlled by the Department of Transport rather than the Home Office."

- Chris Williams

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Stop

So when are they going to arrest...

... every other MP who has ever leaked supposedly restricted information. Starting with the Great Gordo who admitted during a 90's TV interview that he had a 'good source' inside the then Tory government. Bang them up! Now!

Is there a good reason why the opposition should not, in general, have access to the same documents as the government? As long as they protect the detailed content to the same degree?

This is a serious threat to the basic functioning of government, who will dare leak to the opposition if they get hauled over the coals for it. Public Interest is the defence and as somebody who pays all these people's wages, I think it is a solid one.

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Anonymous Coward

Welcome to the Orwellian nightmare ...

>I still haven't seen a single explanation as to why anti-terrorism police were involved,

You need an explanation ?

Could it be that what they've done would be considered illegal, and the only way they can do it legally is to invoke the new anti-terrorism laws?

You'll notice Brown did this recently to Iceland, it seems there was no legal way to freeze their assets in the way that he wanted to (legally) so he just invoked the new anti-terrorism laws which pretty much mean he can get away with blue murder without so much as blinking.

.. did you see the Icelandic journo asking him a question on the subject, the response was along the lines of "we did what was necessary at the time and it was all proper under uk law - next question, I didn't like that one .."

.. course it's nice if your laws have elastic ends which pretty much cover anything when you want them to ..

How's about we round up anyone who had anything remotely to do with the arrest and fire them. Then roll back the anti-terror laws and see if anyone did anything illegal, and when we find they did, chuck 'em in goal. ??

Ministers knew nothing my rear end .. they seem a little confused with regards to the meaning of the word "plausible" in the expression "plausible deniability" .. how long before Brown decides the economy is too unstable to sustain an election and puts of the next election for another couple of years??

Stuff "1984", read Animal Farm if you want to know what comes next .. Oink!

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Black Helicopters

The sceptic in me sees this...

1. Redefine acting on any disagreement with the government as compromising national security, therefore terrorism. Enshrine this in law.

2. Hoist some poor opposition MP on the new laws.

3. Require immunity from laws for MPs.

Goal? The politicians now have laws for keeping you, the public, in line if you actively disagree.

Meanwhile the politicians are immune from those laws.

You've got to hand it to them, they did this well didn't they?

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Paris Hilton

@Tim

IANAL (or even IANAC) but the 'special branch' was involved because they handle all investigations to do with potential breaches of the official secrets act. They have been subsumed into the Anti-terror branch, hence the gutter press using the term "anti-terrorism" police.

Am sure someone with a better knowledge of these things will correct me.

PH, because, well I'd like to pump her thoroughly in the de-briefing room. Meeeh!

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@Chris

"The British Transport Police are controlled by the Department of Transport rather than the Home Office."

One might argue this is like HSBC investigating Northern Rock's financial practises. A salient question is - could Ian Johnston (ex-Met) be aiming for a vacancy at the Met? As I hear it several chief constables appear to be falling over themselves to lick Jacqui's behind in the hope of landing safely in Blair's vacant seat - Jacqui of course deciding who gets to it full time. This is not a pretty from any PoV.

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Coat

Independence

I see the logic of using the BTP, but why not the Independent Police Complaints Commission. Investigating the police is what they're there for: or is that only if the Conservatives complain and this investigation is an "internal" one by the Met?

The pickpocket, because of all the real crime going on while the police spend their time on this...

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@ Re: Transport?

Indeed. Which rather gives the lie to Jacqui klebb's claim that the police is independent of the Home Office.

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Linux

Rusty Shackleford says woot!

AC 12:52 - you sir -rock!

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Be interesting to see...

...how many pages it takes to say all my ACPO/Mason/etc mates handled it right and just 'forgot' to tell Smith* and Brown* what was going on.

*The lack of firstnames is intentional.If it's good enought for the beeb can call a serving mp by his surname only, a treat they usually reserve for convicted criminals, it's good enough for me.

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re: possible silly question

It wasn't a silly question. What was silly was calling the documents secret.

They weren't. Not valid secrets.

The documents were information that should not have been marked secret and should have been available to the public. There was nothing state secret about the information contained therein.

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Paris Hilton

Could have been worse....

Well at least he wasn't treated the same as Vittorio de Filippis, former publisher of the centre-left French newspaper, Libération, was insulted and handcuffed in front of his children by police who raided his home near Paris at 6.30am. He was later strip-searched, twice, and the heinous crime that Mr de Filippis committed? An accusation of defamation caused by a comment left by a reader on the newspaper's website two years ago.

The arrest comes as a time of tensions between the media and Sarkozy's government, which has sparked strikes and protests with a sweeping reform of public broadcasting that would see top executives named directly by the president, just like they do in Russia... and China... and ...

France's Interior Minister Michele Alliot-Marie opted for the Nuremburg defence, when she defended the police officers involved Monday, saying they had "followed procedures" and were acting on (obeying ) the orders of the investigating judge handling the case.

Should be the black 'choppers but its Paris, because I wouldn’t mind searching her AND she knows what to do with a big chopper. Now, please, chough Ms Hilton

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Stop

Transport rather than Traffic

I read that there as traffic police for a second, my experience of whom was "I know you weren't going any faster than other cars in lane 3, but we've got targets, here's your fine". But then again, I'm expect a similar reasoned and fair result to an enquiry of the police by other police, of whatever flavour.

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Anonymous Coward

Anti-Terror Police

@Tim - AC is quite correct - Special Branch = Anti-Terror Police where the press are concerned, and as there was a claimed breach of the OSA it's in there jurisdiction.

Same as the MoD Police = MOD's Secret Private Police Force according to Keith Vaz

Or Thames Valley = Cowboys who only get away with things because their techniques work according to any other police force ;)

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Anonymous Coward

Damien Green is not a Terrorist

The fact is not a terrorist is not in dispute, he is not facing terrorism charges.

The fact terrorism laws were used against him, was disclosed by Jacqui Smith on Sunday.

There is no thing in dispute here, simply a lack of action by the Home Office to prevent future misuse of these terrorism law. So this can only ever serve to give the police a thumbs up. I would prefer to see a penalty for misused of terrorism laws and officers that decide to play that card when they know it is inappropriate face proper criminal sanctions like anyone else would.

Jacqui Smith is not fit to hold a position of power.

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Anonymous Coward

@Iceland

On Gordon Browns use of terror laws to seize the Iceland assets, two points:

1. He later had to lend them the money back after they threatened to take him to court. Misusing terror laws might work when it's one person against UK government, but not when it's a country against the UK government, since they could get UK assets seized anywhere in the world. I personally think he caved in and they let him call it a loan to save face.

2. Take a look at the following graph and guess where Gordo came to power. He may claim to be a financial wizz kid, but the people with money know differently and the Iceland thing only encouraged more 'terrorist' money to fly out of the UK to protect it from Gordo.

http://uk.finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=GBPEUR=X&t=5y&l=on&z=m&q=l&c=

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Flame

Home Office traitors

Having a relation working in the Home Office and knowing that many of them are seething about what some regard as deliberate inefficiency in order to flood the UK with third world effluvia, it is hardly surprising that one of them does his patriotic duty and exposes the behaviour of civil servants who should be put up against a wall and that the aforementioned traitors would wish to use terror tactics to intimidate patriots who wish to expose treachery against the English. nation.

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Anonymous Coward

RE: @Iceland

"2. Take a look at the following graph and guess where Gordo came to power."

...or look at the following graph and guess where Tony thought "Oh crap, it's all going to the dogs. We're f*cked. If I bail now, Gordy will take the blame"

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