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Michael Martin heads the list of those to blame for the outrageous treatment of Damian Green in November 2008

Damian Green 2010 A special Commons committee convened to consider the events surrounding the arrest of Damian Green and search of his Commons office (with regard to leaks he had received from a Home Office civil servant) has published its report this afternoon.

You can read it in its entirety here, but suffice to say it is critical of the former Speaker, Michael Martin, the police, the Home Office and the Cabinet Office, among others.

The report concludes that Home Office officials were at fault "in allowing an exaggerated impression to be formed by the Cabinet Office of the damage done by the leaks". In turn, the Cabinet Office's references to national security having been compromised were deemed to be "hyperbolic and unhelpful".

The arrest of Mr Green was "disproportionate" and "poorly executed", the committee concludes, with the use if electronic surveillance also being condemned.

The search warrants were obtained on the back of written informations with "sloppy wording", with the police's failure to advise the Serjeant at Arms of the right to refuse consent for a search "symptomatic of the sloppy approach of the police in this case".

There was "seriously inadequate communication" between the Speaker, Clerk of the House and Serjeant at Arms, but "Mr Speaker Martin failed to exercise the ultimate responsibility, which was his alone, to take control and not merely to expect to be kept informed."

Damian Green has responded with the following brief statement:

“This report exposes serious failures at the heart of Government, the police, and the Parliamentary authorities. The ultimate responsibility for this wretched attempt at authoritarian Government lies with Ministers, and in a few weeks the British people will be able to pass judgement on them.”

Jonathan Isaby


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