back to article Speaker distances himself from police raids on MP

The Speaker of the House of Commons Michael Martin has confirmed that he was not asked for permission for the Metropolitan Police, who had no search warrant, to raid Tory shadow minister Damian Green's office in the House. Passing the buck deftly Martin blamed his deputy - the Serjeant at Arms Jill Pay. Martin said: "I regret …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What about the warrant for his home?

    His home was searched too, did that have a warrant for that? Nobody is above the law and the police are not the law...

  2. Tom Chiverton

    who had no search warrant

    Would *anyone* let the police in without one ? Geez...

  3. Mark

    Ignorance of the law is no defence

    And, since the Police had no warrant and that the Sergeant had no right to allow the police into the office, the police were trespassing.

    Which, if I remember correctly, is illegal.

    So, when are the coppers going to jail?

  4. E

    This is pants!

    Come look at the fiasco in Canada's house of commons.

  5. Spider

    so they've got their stories straight?

    So he knew before the arrest took place, Boris knew, Cameron knew... Is Wackie Jaquie still maintaining she knew nothing? Liar Liar pants on fire!!!

  6. Anonymous Coward


    He's responsible for the member of staff who allowed the police in without a search warrant - he didn't even confirm with her (".. oh, and they do have a search warrant don't they...").

    He should resign or be fired. Easy eh ?

    Wont' happen. It's an old Gentleman's club (who now admit women).

  7. Laurie

    @ AC and Mark

    There were 3 warrants and 4 locations. The Sergeant at Arms signed a consent form to allow the Police access to the location that they didn't have a warrant for i.e. Green's offices in the House. Perfectly legal, but very stupid.

    I can't believe that the SaA didn't seek advice from a more senior figure. I just don't believe it.

  8. EdwardP

    Just when I think I understand it...

    So...did he invite the police in to search?

    Just when I begin to think I understand the law, something happens to make me realize quite how wrong I am.

    Things like being raided (mistakenly) by an Armed Response Unit with no warrent. Aparently if the Duty Sargeant thinks you pose a "threat" to the public, they can boot your door in and do whatever, in this case they smashed the fuck out of my house. £700 of damage and never saw a penny.

    This guy obviously didn't pose an immediate threat to the public, so could somebody explain under what grounds his house was searched? Aren't the records of stuff like this public domain?

    We have far too many laws and I find it hard to believe PC Smith is capable of learning them all during their rather limited training, hell it takes lawyers 4 years.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Peter Mandleshite...

    attempting to take the moral high ground on tv today. Somewhere he couldn' t find with a map, compass and a gps.

  10. OG
    IT Angle


    What is the IT angle on this? We know ALL MP's consider themselves above the Law and love doing there dirty dealings without attracting attention. Is IT news a bit thin on the ground at the moment?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    warrantless facts

    If you invite the police in then they do not need a warrant.

  12. The Other Steve


    "His home was searched too, did that have a warrant for that?"

    Yes, they obtained warrants for all three of the other properties searched, but weirdly, not for his office in the commons, which was conducted by way of a consent form signed by the serjeant at arms (horrid spelling, but correct)

    The serious allegation made by Gorbals Mick is that they did not make the sarjeant at arms aware that she was able to turn down the request to search (assuming it was her they ought to have been asking in the first place) and insist upon a warrant. This is a serious breach of procedure on the part of the officers involved (PACE Code B s5.2 *).

    While it's clear that El Gordo and the pie faced facist bitch Smith are lying out of their arses, this does rather drop the met quite firmly in the thick brown fecal matter. If it's true.


  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If the police were invited in then there is no Trespass

    If the police said nicely, as they would, "may we take away that computer - owned by the House of Commons(?) - and the mobile phone in the MPs office (owned by the House of Commons)" then there is no issue, surely? If the police arrive at my employers place of work without a warrant and they ask nicely and my employer accedes then "game over". There are many issues at play here. A reasonable question is "Why did the HoC rep not say "come back with a warrant"?

    Dissembling by the home secretary is a very unappealing sight and I do wish she'd play with a straight bat more often but perhaps so many years of deception has made it impossible for her to not be a sophist.

  14. Frank Silver badge

    Weasel Words-worth

    "I would strongly refute that I or any senior officer...."

    To 'refute' is to prove wrong. So, he claims that he would (future possibility) prove the allegations wrong. He does not DENY the allegations, he merely states his belief (un-demonstrable) that he would be able to prove the allegations to be wrong.

    "...would allow any improper influence ..."

    since (i'm sure) there is no written definition of 'improper' influence covering this situation, he can claim that any influence was proper (in his opinion).

  15. Chris G Silver badge

    Not Stalinist yet

    Stalin killed upwards of 23 million people one way or another with his dawn knocks and disappearing people but I suspect if we allowed the likes of the current gov' to stay in they would , more and more rapidly begin to emulate him. The greatest danger to political freedom is a government that will hear no criticism against its self.

    The police are as much at fault as the idiots who initially requested the raid, to have actually gone in without first asking enough questions as to whether they should in fact be doing something that probably breaches parliamentary privilige.

    Of course the plod never really did care for what the law actually says, most of the time they don't know and don't bother to consult a solicitor first they just go and kick a door down and let the lawyers sort it out later.

  16. Spider

    so it went?..


    can we come in and have a shuftie luv?

    sergeant at arms:

    er. 'spose so, i'll let the boss know...

    [ring]er, boss, just to let ou know the rozzers are having a look in an Mps stuff... what?.. no, a tory,... ok i'll make 'em a brew while their here....[/ring]

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is it true about Robert Quick?

    Mail is saying the arrest was ordered by Senior officer Robert Quick, a strong supporter of Jacqui Smith. When I search his name I turn up heavy lobbying for 42 day detention without trial.

    Pretty f**ing incredible that a senior officer tries for a prosecution of an MP for seeking information about Home Office screw ups, SOMETHING WE ELECTED HIM FOR YOU LYING F**ING MORON.

    Pardon my rant, I don't like that officers run political campaigns, yet we don't elect them, and now they're arresting the MPs we DO elect for doing what we elect them for.

    I am very unhappy.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ The Other Steve

    "This is a serious breach of procedure on the part of the officers involved "

    Wouldn't the consent form the Sgt at Arms signed included that information?

    A warrant would not be the next logical step anyway. The spirit of PACE is that the LEAST INTRUSIVE means are employed to achieve the objective, in this case, search for evidence. So had consent been refused then a warrant would only be granted if there was some reasont the evidence could not be obtained by a production order.

    People who think that yelling "you can't come in here without a warrant" at the police means anything watch too much american TV.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you invite the police in they don't need a warrant?

    Sounds ridiculous to me. The threshold is not some magic fidelious charm.

    It's more likely that they deliberately arrested him rather than just invited him for a chat. Arresting does grant the need for a warrant unnecessary.

  20. Claire Rand


    so the plod have his computer...

    wonder if they will "discover" anything, or maybe decide that password protected zip file he has somewhere needs "further investigation". and suggest he make no further mention or they may have to investigate.

    still its always good to see the weasels back peddling, would be funny if not for the fact we are paying for this fiasco.

    _how_ many plod? and dis anyone in the westminster area try to report a burglary around the time of the raids and be told "they were too busy to respond" and they would be round when they had the time.

    obvious where the priorities are really.

    follow the money

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Resignation / Dismissal for failures of Subordinates

    If Leaders of Haringey's Council / Social Services can be dismissed for their subordinates' operational failures, surely Gorbals Mick should also get the shove.

  22. night troll


    If the plods had warrents for three of the four places they wanted to search, why not the fourth?

    Could it be they knew a judge would not grant one for the Palace of Westminster? Lets face it what judge would want his name on keg of dynamite when it blows up, as it was bound to do.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Trespass is a civil matter not a criminal one.

  24. Mr Larrington

    Mr. Speaker (Fat Scottish):

    Is it time to mention's version of Hansard yet?

  25. Alan Fisher

    despite the dancing on both sides

    people commenting here should have watched this on Newsnight last night, it explained many of the questions here raised

    when asked aboutr the warrent Harriet Harman dodged the question and did not answer it

    when asked about the sergeant-at-arms' right to refuse the police entry, she did the same

    there were serious and possibly deliberate procedural breaches here and the question on everyone's lips is why? This debacle has proven more embarressing to the government than whatever the contents of the almost leaked memo probably would have....

    or is that the point? do this, media circus, public hype....arguing about anything at all EXCEPT the contents of said attempted leaked material? Perhaps the Home Office have successfully dodged the bullet on this one?

    Ignore the arrest, the procedural breaches, the stuff they want us to waste our time on. Find out what is so damning as to warrant (haha) all this effort in the first place!

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can the landlord consent to search and seizure?

    Whether or not the Serjeant at Arms read the consent before signing it, isn't there another question here?

    One of the posters here refers to "permission given by my employer".

    In a Parliamentary situation, who is the "employer" of an MP, and does the Serjeant at Arms have the authority to agree to searches or access without a warrant?

    If the MP is regarded as being a tenant of his office within the House of Commons, does the Serjeant at Arms represent the landlord, and can a landlord give consent for a search and removal of computers and mobile phones (are they really the property of the House of Commons?) ?

    If the Serjeant at Arms was acting as the agent of the landlord, does the same apply elsewhere? e.g. if a GP practice is in a surgery rented from the PCT, is the PCT entitled to search the premises itself or allow the police to do so and remove computers which probably contain the medical records of all the patients ?

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    AC wrote: Wont' happen. It's an old Gentleman's club (who now admit women).

    And non-gentlemen!

    Does PH only admit......?

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