2 Leaks, Government and the Police |
What's wrong with leaking
9. In its Report on Leaks and Whistleblowing
in Whitehall, the Public Administration Select Committee recognised
that leaks are an "occupational hazard" in government,
but its conclusion was that
Leaks are damaging to trust within government and
trust in government. In particular, they endanger ministers' confidence
in an impartial Civil Service.
10. The Public Administration Select Committee
made several recommendations aiming to balance civil servants'
duty of confidentiality with robust protection for whistleblowers
acting in the public interest.
In its own investigation into Policing Process of Home Office
Leaks Inquiry, the Home Affairs Committee stated
We do not condone the unauthorised disclosure of
departmental information; this is an abuse by officials of their
positions of trust, and we support the use of disciplinary action
in such instances. We also understand the corrosive effect that
persistent leaking of information has on the efficient working
of departments, not least as it sows mistrust between Ministers
The leaks from the Home Office
11. A number of leaks during 2007 and 2008, apparently
emanating from the Home Office, led to mounting concern over whether
the department could keep effective control over sensitive information.
Sir David Normington, the Home Office Permanent Secretary, described
to the Home Affairs Committee conversations he had had with the
then Home Secretary (Rt Hon Jacqui Smith) where they exchanged
their "frustration and anger" over what was happening
From my point of view that is despicable, it is disloyal,
it is completely undermining the work of the Home Office and it
is completely unacceptable, I do not need to be told that by the
12. Apparently there had been 31 leaks of information
from the Home Office over the four years up to September 2008,
of which 20 had occurred between February 2006 and September 2008;
all of the leaks, with the exception of one marked 'secret', were
either 'unclassified' or 'restricted'.
The Home Office asks the Cabinet
13. The Home Office tried first to identify the
leaker(s) using its own resources. When that approach was not
successful, the Home Office turned for help to the Cabinet Office.
The Home Affairs Committee expressed concern that officials may
have given an exaggerated impression of the damage done by the
leaks. We share that
we consider 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.
The Cabinet Office asks the Metropolitan
Police (8 October 2008)
14. The Cabinet Office contacted the Metropolitan
Police in late September or early October 2008.
Following the initial conversations, Chris Wright, then Director
of Security and Intelligence at the Cabinet Office, wrote on 8
October 2008 to Robert Quick, then Assistant Commissioner for
Special Operations in the Metropolitan Police Service, to ask
the Metropolitan Police to investigate.
|CABINET OFFICE: CONFIDENTIAL INVESTIGATIONS NOW UNCLASSIFIED|
8 September 2008 *
* Note: Date mistyped on original letter above. This should read 8 October 2008.
I am writing to ask whether you will consider agreeing to an investigation into a series of leaks, probably originating in the Home Office, which is causing considerable concern to the Cabinet Secretary.
A number of recent leak investigations, including some conducted by your officers, have raised questions about the security of sensitive information in the Home Office. Whilst not all the leaks which concern us merit, taken individually, investigation by the police, we are concerned that there is an individual or individuals in the Home Office with access to sensitive material who is (are) prepared to leak that information. We are in no doubt that there has been considerable damage to national security already as a result of some of these leaks and we are concerned that the potential for future damage is significant. The risk of leaking is having an impact on the efficient and effective conduct of Government business, affecting the ability of Ministers and senior officials to have full and frank discussions on sensitive matters and undermining necessary trust. You will not be surprised to hear that we are also concerned that there must be risk to information about sensitive operations which, if leaked, could give rise to grave damage.
If you are content to agree to an investigation into these matters, my staff will be happy to brief your officers on the detail. Equally, I shall be happy to discuss with you any arrangements for the oversight of the investigation.
Knowledge of this request is held very tightly here, in the Home Office and in the Security Service and will continue to be so.
A copy of this letter goes on a personal basis to David Normington, Jonathan Evans and to Robert Hannigan and Ciaran Martin here.
Information contained in this document may be subject to exemptions under the Freedom of Information Act (in particular the National Security exemptions in sections 23 and 24). Before considering information in this document for release under the Act, you should contact the Intelligence and Security Secretariat in the Cabinet Office for advice.
15. Damian Green told us that the "very, very strong
statement from the Cabinet Office" that there had been considerable
damage to national security already as a result of some of these
leaks was false: "it is quite clear both in the Johnston
Report and in the DPP's response that the idea that any of the
leaks I was engaged with endangered national security was simply
Home Affairs Committee described the impression given in the Cabinet
Office letter that national security had been damaged by a Home
Office leaker as "hyperbolic" and "unhelpful".
16. Chris Wright later told Denis O'Connor, HM
Chief Inspector of Constabulary, that it was in the minds of those
involved at that stage that a fresh police investigation might
find a single source both for the more recent Home Office leaks
and for the previous cross-government leaks of 'Secret' material
with which they might have been associated.
Sir Gus O'Donnell, the Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Home
Civil Service, told us that he took responsibility for the actions
of his staff, and he argued that Chris Wright's letter was correct
in identifying that there had been damage to national security
from the leaks. Sir Gus O'Donnell explained that the pattern of
leaks emerging from late 2007 was very similar to that seen in
an earlier period, from 2005 to 2007, of up to 40 leaks, possibly
from the Home Office, including some leaks of highly sensitive
material of importance to national security. The Cabinet Office
did not, at the time they contacted the police, know the identity
of the source of the leaks. Sir Gus O'Donnell further argued that
"the letter from which Mr Green quoted was therefore correct
in identifying that there had been damage to national security
from these leaks".
17. While we can understand
the Cabinet Secretary's concern arising from the wider pattern
of previous leaks, the reference to national security in the letter
from the Cabinet Office to the Metropolitan Police Service of
8 October 2008 was ill-judged. We agree with the Home Affairs
Committee that giving the impression that national security had
been damaged by the Home Office leaks was hyperbolic and unhelpful.
Civil servants who perpetrate leaks are quite rightly liable to
disciplinary action, with consequences up to and including dismissal.
18. The second strand of the justification given
in the 8 October letter for calling in the police was that
The risk of leaking is having an impact on the efficient
and effective conduct of Government business, affecting the ability
of Ministers and senior officials to have full and frank discussions
on sensitive matters and undermining necessary trust.
Sir Gus O'Donnell told us that this sentence provided
an additional explanatory statement for the police.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner John McDowall told us that the view
of those making the allegation that the effective conduct of government
was being undermined was "a subjective view and not one which
we, the police, can actually form a view upon, because we simply
have no experience of conducting effective government".
Robert Quick, however, admitted that it was a consideration which
influenced the investigation.
In our view the impact of leaks on the conduct of Government
business is not, and never can be, a sufficiently weighty reason
in itself to justify a police investigation.
Cabinet Office guidance
19. The threshold for calling in the police to
investigate leaks was set out in unpublished Cabinet Office guidance
on leak investigations policy and procedures (GLIPP).
Robert Hannigan, the Cabinet Office Head of Security, Intelligence
and Resilience, told us that while the detailed guidance on investigations
was in the process of being revised, new general guidance had
been supplied to the Public Administration Select Committee.
GLIPP sets out the roles and corresponding responsibilities of
all individuals in regard to combating and deterring leaking.
The relevant passage of GLIPP from October 2008 stated that the
police investigate cases that breach the Official Secrets Act
"or involve criminal behaviour", which Sir Gus O'Donnell
suggested to us might cover, for example, insider dealing or leaking
20. In November 2009 the Cabinet Office produced
a new guidance paper in a form suitable for publication, entitled
"Official information: standards of conduct and procedures",
which has annexed to it the protocol on leak investigations recommended
by Denis O'Connor, HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary.
This new guidance states that "if a civil servant is found
to have perpetrated a leak he or she can expect to face disciplinary
action, with consequences up to and including dismissal".
The guidance requires a Department to make an impact and damage
assessment that is both realistic and honest.
This impact and damage assessment will be "crucial"
in deciding whether to refer a matter to the police.
The new guidance states explicitly that embarrassment or reputational
damage to the Government, or to a particular Department, would
not provide sufficient grounds for referral to the police,
and the guidance refers to HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary's
there should be a presumption in favour of the police
not being involved unless there are (a) reasonable grounds for
believing an offence under the Official Secrets Act 1989 has been
committed or (b) reasonable grounds for believing a serious criminal
offence has been committed as an integral part of a leak(s), such
as the example where an official is subject to bribery or corruption,
or very exceptional cases which seriously threaten the UK in economic
or integrity terms.
We wholeheartedly agree with the
tone and content of the Cabinet Office guidance paper on official
information standards of conduct and procedures, in the revised
form issued in November 2009, and we endorse in particular the
need for an honest and realistic assessment of any damage caused
National security leaks remain
21. Sir Gus O'Donnell told us that it had been
hoped that the investigation launched with the letter of 8 October
2008, taking as its starting point some of the embarrassing leaks,
would lead to the source of the national security leaks from the
earlier period. He admitted that "in that sense, the investigation
failed" because the leaks admitted to by Christopher Galley
did not cover national security.
When giving evidence in December 2009, more than a year after
the events which led to our inquiry, Sir Gus O'Donnell told us
that he remained concerned about the source of those serious leaks,
which had at that date still not been accounted for, even after
the investigation and dismissal of Christopher Galley.
concerned by the Cabinet Office's continued failure to identify
the source of other leaks across Government of more highly classified
The Police and the Cabinet Officescoping
22. Sir Gus O'Donnell told us that the Cabinet
Office did not determine the conduct of the investigation, nor
were they consulted by the police on the decisions to make arrests.
As he put it, "you completely lose control when you hand
over to the police".
He told us that if he had been consulted once the facts of Christopher
Galley's leaking had become known, he would personally have preferred
taking disciplinary action under the civil service code to making
arrests. It is clear,
however, that the Cabinet Office remained in touch with the police
after the 8 October letter, as a process of scoping and "negotiation"
continued up to at least the time of Chris Wright's second letter
to the Metropolitan Police Service, sent on 29 October 2008.
23. Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick, who
was then Deputy Assistant Commissioner for Security and Protection,
stood in for Assistant Commissioner Robert Quick in his absence
from 9 to 24 October and remained involved in the case until about
12 November 2008, when she handed over the supervision of the
investigation to Deputy Assistant Commissioner John McDowall.
Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick told us that "we had
not ruled out that whoever the suspect might be for those five
linked [leaks] they could have been involved in others of the
31 [leaks], including those which might pertain to the Official
Deputy Assistant Commissioner John McDowall told us that following
the letter of 8 October from Chris Wright police officers had
"negotiated" the scope of the investigation with the
Cabinet Office, reducing its focus from some 32 leaks to "four
or five that looked to be the most obvious points to go and investigate
24. Although GLIPP prescribed the convening of
a case conference, Robert Hannigan, the Cabinet Office Head of
Security, Intelligence and Resilience, told us that in this case
there were a number of informal meetings between Cabinet Office
staff and the Metropolitan Police Service but no formal case conference,
a difference which Robert Hannigan described as "very, very
deplore the Cabinet Office's failure to follow its own guidance
by not calling a case conference which could have ensured a properly
balanced approach was taken to investigating the Home Office leaks.
The Cabinet Office identifies
the likely culprit
25. In the meantime, a Cabinet Office internal
investigator reported that, although he had not found hard evidence
of guilt, Christopher Galley was likely to have been responsible
for leaking the Home Secretary's draft letter to the Prime Minister,
which was the basis for the Daily Mail article on 1 September
Galley was named as a strong suspect in four other leaks of 'unclassified'
or 'restricted' material in the period October 2007 to April 2008.
Denis O'Connor considered that "ironically, the identification
of Christopher Galley by an internal investigator illustrates
the value of using the skills of an experienced investigator and
reinforces the benefits of in-house capabilities".
The actual leaks associated with Christopher Galley are set out
|From DPP Statement, 16 April 2009:|
The police investigation focussed on six apparent leaks.
Leak One: On 14 October 2007, an article by Ben Leapman was published in the Sunday Telegraph. It was about the asylum and immigration system. It referred to a leaked Home Office memorandum which, it was claimed, had been "seen by this newspaper". There followed extensive quotes from the leaked document. The article reported that government critics claimed that the document exposed continuing failures in the asylum system even though the number of refugees entering the country was at a 14-year low. Mr Damian Green MP was quoted in the article as "the Conservative immigration spokesperson" commenting on "the chaos that still affects the asylum system". He added that "Ministers have toughened up their rhetoric but underneath the same old policies are producing the same old results".
The leaked document was the "Asylum and Immigration High Level Monthly Performance Report July 2007". It was marked "Restricted-Management". A copy was recovered by the police from Mr Green's Parliamentary office bearing the name "Galley" in manuscript. In his interview with the police, Mr Galley denied passing this document to anyone. As noted above, Mr Green made no comment in interview.
Leak Two: On 11 November 2007, an article by Justin Penrose was published in the Sunday Mirror. It alleged that up to five thousand illegal immigrants had obtained security jobs in the UK. The article went on to allege that "Officials failed to check if any foreign workers in the security industry were legally allowed to be in Britain
The scandal surfaced when the agency that vets security guards admitted it had not been checking if the applicants were in the country legally." A spokesman for the Home Office was quoted as saying "Ministers have ordered checks on all existing security licence holders and these will be considered shortly.".
Follow up articles appeared in the Daily Mail on 13, 14 and 15 November 2007 referring to "leaked documents" and "a fresh Home Office document leaked to the Daily Mail last night". Mr Green is quoted in many of these articles. For example, the Daily Mail reported on 13 November 2007 that "Tory immigration spokesman Damian Green said last night: "The Home Secretary has been caught red-handed putting the short-term interests of the government before the long-term task of solving a real problem."." There were also follow up articles in The Times, The Independent, the Daily Express, the Daily Telegraph and the Evening Standard on 14 and 15 November 2007.
The leaked document was a copy of high level submissions to Home Office Ministers in August 2007, updating them about various issues relating to Security Industry Authority (SIA) licences. It was marked "Restricted". In his police interview Mr Galley admitted sending this document to Mr Green at the House of Commons. Mr Green made no comment in interview.
Leak Three: On 10 February 2008, an article by Melissa Kite was published in the Sunday Telegraph. It was about an illegal immigrant working in the House of Commons and was based on leaked documents. The article claimed that "The Government stands accused of a cover-up after leaked documents, obtained by the Sunday Telegraph, showed that Liam Byrne, the immigration minister, was informed immediately of the case of the Brazilian woman, a cleaner, when she was arrested at Parliament 10 days ago. Yet the Home Office confirmed the security breach - one of the most serious to affect Westminster - only after being contacted by this newspaper last night."."
The article carried comments from Mr Green in the following terms: "The Conservatives demanded urgent action to prevent further breaches. Damian Green, the shadow immigration minister, said: "Of all the Home Office disasters, this has the biggest security implications. Ministers like to talk tough about cracking down on employers but it is clear that the system is failing in our most sensitive buildings. What makes this even worse is that ministers' first instinct was to cover it up."."
The leaked document was a copy of a report to Home Office Ministers dated 31 January 2008 about an investigation into an allegedly illegal worker at the Houses of Parliament. It was marked "Restricted-Investigation". In his police interview, Mr Galley admitted posting this document to Mr Green and acknowledged that he "knew it would obviously end up in the press". Mr Green made no comment in interview.
Leak Four: On 20 April 2008, an article by David Leppard was published in The Sunday Times. It described a list of Labour MPs identified by the party Whip's office as "suspected of plotting" against the Counter-Terrorism Bill. The following week the same newspaper published another article by Mr Leppard referring to a "leaked Whitehall document marked restricted" and prepared for the Home Secretary. This was said to have suggested that the government might make concessions on its counter terrorism reforms to win over disaffected opponents.
The leaked document was a Briefing on the Counter-Terrorism Bill marked "Restricted". In his police interview, Mr Galley denied passing this document to Mr Green, but he did admit that he passed him a Whips' list of the names of MPs who were undecided about their votes in respect of the Counter-Terrorism Bill. Mr Galley told the Police that he had access to this document which was kept in a safe belonging to the Special Advisers: he admitted photocopying the list and handing it to Mr Green. Mr Green made no comment in interview.
Leak Five: On 1 September 2008, the Daily Mail published an article based on a draft letter from the Home Secretary to the Prime Minister, which it claimed had been "leaked to the Daily Mail", predicting that the credit crunch would lead to a rise in crime. A similar article appeared in the Daily Telegraph referring to a "leaked Home Office letter". Mr Green was quoted in the Daily Mail in the following terms: "Damian Green, the Tory immigration spokesman, said: "This rips the veil off the complacent comments we have been getting from the Home Office ministers about how their performance is improving. It is clear that almost all areas of the Home Office things are going to get worse."."
The leaked document was a copy of a "Draft letter to No 10" dated August 2008. It was not marked "Restricted", but from its contents it would have been clear to anyone reading it that it was a confidential document. In interview, Mr Galley admitted passing this document to Mr Green. Mr Green made no comment in interview. A copy of the draft letter was found in Mr Green's Parliamentary office.
Leak Six: On 15 November 2008, the Daily Mail published an article by Christopher Leake based on a "leaked" Home Office document suggesting that the levels of most violent crime had risen under the Labour government.
The leaked document was a Briefing Pack for incoming Ministers at the Home Office. It was marked "Restricted Policy". In his police interview, Mr Galley denied leaking this document to anyone. Mr Green made no comment in interview.
26. Not all the leaks in question have since
been accounted for, but the ones relevant to the search of Damian
Green's office have been largely admitted by Christopher Galley,
an administrative officer in the Home Office with clearance to
see documents with a security classification of up to 'secret'.
To that extent, it turns out that Chris Wright had been correct
to say in his 8 October letter that that there was an individual
in the Home Office with access to sensitive material who was prepared
to leak; but none of these leaks attributed to Christopher Galley
were of material classified 'Secret' and nor were any of them
in fact "damaging" in terms of the Official Secrets
Act (see paragraph 38 below). There was therefore no basis for
the concern expressed in the 8 October letter that the potential
for future damage was significant.
The Police and the Crown Prosecution
Service (22 October 2008)
27. Following the identification of Christopher
Galley as a suspect, police officers held a consultation with
the Crown Prosecution Service on Wednesday 22 October, as part
of their continuing scoping exercise. The consultation concluded
that there did not appear to be sufficient evidence to constitute
an offence under the Official Secrets Act 1989, but the behaviour
of a serial leaker might amount to a common law offence of 'misconduct
in public office'.
28. Sir Gus O'Donnell mentioned the possible
motivation of Christopher Galley in leaking Home Office documents:
"the concerns here were not about the conduct of official
business, but about procuring personal benefit, in this case employment,
from the leaking of official material".
Robert Quick's written evidence set out the "hypothesis"
that Galley was being exploited but Sir Ian Johnston's own assessment
of the evidence was that "the relationship between the two
was, if you like, at its worst equal but probably was driven more
by Galley than by Mr Green".
As Damian Green told us, "over a two and a half year period
we met on four occasions, and on all four occasions at his instigation
I think, so the idea that there was some close permanent relationship
between us was always false".
29. In our view the Metropolitan
Police made the wrong decision after their discussions with the
Crown Prosecution Service on Wednesday 22 October 2008.
We reach that conclusion for these reasons: the source of the
leaks had been found, but not by the police; the damage done was
not as severe as the Cabinet Office had made out; the evidence
was not strong enough to use the Official Secrets Act; and nor
was the evidence strong enough to support a successful prosecution
for misconduct in public office.
30. After Christopher Galley had been arrested
and interviewed, the Metropolitan Police approached the Crown
Prosecution Service for advice on the type of offence that might
have been committed by the MP implicated by Christopher Galley.
As far as Denis O'Connor could ascertain, the CPS were not asked
for their views on proportionality or potential value.
Official Secrets and Parliamentary
Privilege the Sandys case
31. The Official Secrets Act 1989 was a long-awaited
and welcome improvement on the Official Secrets Act 1911, which
notoriously provided in section 2 that wrongful communication
of any official information was a misdemeanour punishable by imprisonment
for up to two years.
32. In his evidence to us, Damian Green referred
to the Sandys case, which arose in the run-up to the Second
World War from a clash between parliamentary privilege and the
Official Secrets legislation then in force.
On 27 June 1938, Mr Duncan Sandys raised a complaint on the floor
of the House, as a matter of privilege, that the Attorney-General
had asked Mr Sandys about the "highly secret" sources
of information Mr Sandys had evidently used in a draft of a parliamentary
question (about shortages of anti-aircraft guns and instruments)
which Mr Sandys had enclosed in a letter to the Secretary of State
for War. Mr Sandys
also complained that the Attorney-General had informed Mr Sandys
that he had a legal obligation to reveal the sources of his information
and that the Attorney-General had threatened Mr Sandys with prosecution
under section 6 of the Official Secrets Act 1920, punishable with
imprisonment of up to two years - a threat subsequently withdrawn
by the Attorney General, once Mr Sandys had sought the Speaker's
permission to raise the matter in the House.
Sir Donald Somervell, the Attorney General, denied having used
the Official Secrets Act to threaten Mr Sandys.
33. The House agreed on 30 June 1938 to a motion
from Mr Sandys referring the detail of Mr Sandys' allegations
and the general question of the applicability of the Official
Secrets Acts to Members to a special Select Committee on the Official
Secrets Act. This
Select Committee agreed a first report in August 1938, dealing
with the actual case of Mr Sandys, and a further report in April
1939 addressing the general applicability of the Official Secrets
Acts to Members of Parliament in the discharge of their parliamentary
duties. In its 1939
Report, the Committee stated its opinion that the soliciting or
receipt of information was not a proceeding in Parliament.
The Committee concluded
"it would be inadvisable to attempt by legislation
or otherwise to define the extent of immunity from prosecution
under the Official Secrets Act to which Members of Parliament
are or ought to be entitled. It would be extremely difficult,
if not impossible, to draw a line between acts which are or ought
to be permissible and acts which are or ought to be criminal.
The privileges of Parliament, like many other institutions of
the British constitution, are indefinite in their nature and stated
in general and sometimes vague terms. The elasticity thus secured
has made it possible to apply existing privileges in new circumstances
from time to time. Any attempt to translate them into precise
rules must deprive them of the very quality which renders them
adaptable to new and varying conditions, and new or unusual combination
of circumstances, and indeed might have the effect of restricting
rather than safe-guarding Members' privileges, since it would
imply that, save in circumstances specified, a Member could be
prosecuted without any infringement of the privileges of the House."
34. The continuing significance of the Sandys
case was mentioned several times in evidence to us.
In his written evidence, the former Clerk of the House Sir William
McKay explained that the House had agreed with the 1938-39 select
committee that the working definition of 'proceedings' should
be extended to communications between one Member and another or
between a Member and a minister so closely related to some matter
pending in or expected to be brought before the House that they
form part of the business of the House. 
Official Secrets and the Official
35. Sir Gus O'Donnell quoted to us the remarks
made (by Rt Hon David Davis, the Member for Haltemprice and Howden)
in a BBC interview on 28 November 2008
Our job when this information comes to us is to make
a judgment, is it in the public interest that this should be known
publicly or not? In about half the cases, we decide not, because
we think there are reasons, perhaps of national security, or military
or terrorism reasons, not to put things in the public domain.
In his own written evidence to us, David Davis claimed
that it was "much more common than is generally supposed"
that a Member of Parliament decided to keep secret data brought
to them that was properly secret.
Sir Gus O'Donnell told us that, while the David Davis interview
might have exaggerated the proportion of leaks he had received
dealing with national security, he would be very concerned if
the true figure were half of that.
He also agreed that David Davis' claim on the BBC was made only
after the arrest of Damian Green.
made by David Davis on the BBC, the day after the arrest of Damian
Green, do not excuse the decision made by the Cabinet Office on
8 October to call in the police to investigate the apparent unauthorised
disclosure of unclassified or restricted documents to certain
36. Damian Green had also made clear to us that
he thought genuine security concerns ought to be respected
I think a responsible attitude of any politician
of any party, but particularly an opposition politician receiving
[leaks], is obviously to make a test of our national security,
whether this endangers national security, or perhaps in particular
whether it breaks the Official Secrets Act and clearly that would
then be a criminal offence to make it public.
Reform of the Official Secrets
37. The reform of the Official Secrets Acts was
considered a number of times over the years, notably by the Franks
Committee which reported in September 1972.
The Government brought forward in 1988 a new legislative framework
to protect official information. In introducing the Second Reading
of the 1988-89 Official Secrets Bill, the then Home Secretary,
Rt Hon Douglas Hurd, asked the House "to agree in principle
that the criminal law should be prised away from the great bulk
of official information".
Since then, the Freedom of Information Act 2000 has transformed
the legislative framework within which sensitive official information
38. Under the reformed Official Secrets Act,
a person who is or has been a Crown servant or government contractor
is guilty of an offence if without lawful authority he makes a
"damaging" disclosure of any information in his possession
by virtue of his official position: a disclosure is "damaging"
if it would, or would be likely to, cause damage to the work of
the security and intelligence services, or damage the capability
of the armed forces to carry out their tasks, or lead to loss
of life or injury to members of those forces or serious damage
to the equipment or installations of those forces, or endangers
the interests of the United Kingdom abroad, seriously obstructs
the promotion or protection by the United Kingdom of those interests
or endangers the safety of British citizens abroad.
39. Sir Gus O'Donnell told us he was "just
not sure" if there was a need for legislative sanctions to
punish leaks which fell below the Official Secrets Act threshold
but which deserved more severe treatment than provided in the
disciplinary provisions of the Civil Service Code.
40. The Director of Public Prosecutions confirmed
in his statement of 16 April 2009 that "this is not a case
which falls within the framework of the Official Secrets Acts".
Denis O'Connor explained that "the police remained engaged
because they felt it was their duty once involved to go where
the evidence took them and because any withdrawal could have been
misinterpreted adversely as partiality one way or another".
41. According to Denis O'Connor, the rationale
for continuing a police investigation into Home Office leaks below
the "Secret" level stemmed from two Cabinet Office documents:
a draft protocol between SO15 and the Cabinet Office which referred
to cases "where it is believed that an offence under the
Official Secrets Act 1989 or any other serious criminal offence
may have been committed", and Cabinet Office guidance to
Government Departments suggesting that the threshold for calling
in the police is where leaks amount to "serious and damaging
interference with the functions of government".
Despite what Denis O'Connor described as "doubts about the
wisdom of continuing with the investigation",
the police operation continued on the basis of CPS advice that
they could prosecute the culprit(s) for a serious but lesser-known
criminal offence under common law misconduct in public
Misconduct in public office
42. The common law offence of misconduct in public
office is traceable back at least as far as a 1783 decision by
Lord Mansfield in the case of an accountant who corruptly concealed
from his superiors in the office of the Receiver and Paymaster
General of the Forces that he knew that certain sums of money
had been omitted from the final accounts: "a man accepting
an office of trust, concerning the public, especially if attended
with profit, is answerable criminally to the King for misbehaviour
in his office; this is true by whomever and in whatever way the
officer is appointed".
43. The current CPS guidelines on misconduct
in public office set out the elements of the offence-
a) a public officer acting as such,
b) wilfully neglects to perform his duty and/or wilfully
c) to such a degree as to amount to an abuse of the
public's trust in the office holder,
d) without reasonable excuse or justification.
44. The CPS guidance on charging practice states
Like perverting the course of justice, misconduct
in public office covers a wide range of conduct. It should always
be remembered that it is a very serious, indictable-only offence
carrying a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. A charge of
misconduct in public office should be reserved for cases of serious
misconduct or deliberate failure to perform a duty which is likely
to injure the public interest.
45. The CPS guidance suggests further that prosecutors
should consider carefully whether they have an alternative course
Before deciding to proceed with a charge of misconduct
in public office you should consider whether the acts complained
of can properly be dealt with by any available statutory offence.
If the seriousness of the offence can properly be reflected in
any other charge, which would provide the court with adequate
sentencing powers, and permit a proper presentation of the case
as a whole, that other charge should be used unless the facts
are so serious that the court's sentencing powers would be inadequate;
or it would ensure the better presentation of the case as a whole;
for example, a co-defendant has been charged with an indictable
offence and the statutory offence is summary only.
46. Ultimately, the Director of Public Prosecutions,
Keir Starmer QC, having taken independent advice from James Lewis
QC and Gavin Millar QC, concluded that there was no realistic
prospect of a conviction against either Christopher Galley or
Damian Green for the offences alleged against them and that accordingly
charges should not be brought against either Christopher Galley
or Damian Green.
In his Statement announcing the dropping of the investigation,
the Director of Public Prosecutions described the third and fourth
elements of the misconduct in public office offence (so serious
as to constitute a criminal offence, and no reasonable excuse)
as critical; "not every act of misconduct by a public official
is capable of amounting to a criminal offence".
47. While our own inquiry is concerned with parliamentary
privilege, the Director of Public Prosecutions gave some consideration
to the Human Rights Act in relation to freedom of the press. Since
the alleged misconduct in question was the leaking of information
to an Opposition MP and through him to a national newspaper,
the Director of Public Prosecutions argued that -
some assistance on the threshold for criminal culpability
is provided by Article 10(1) of the European Convention on Human
Rights (incorporated into our law by the Human Rights Act 1998),
which strongly protects the freedom of the press. It does so by
safeguarding the right of everyone to receive and impart information
and ideas without interference. Although this right is not absolute
can be restricted where restriction is prescribed by law, legitimate,
necessary and proportionate -
where it touches on matters of public interest which the press
has a legitimate interest in publishing, it attracts special protection.
That is because of the well-recognised and special role of the
press as a public watchdog. As a result any criminal proceedings
which restrict the ability of the press to publish information
and ideas on matters of public interest calls for the closest
scrutiny. In particular, the need for a criminal prosecution must
be convincingly established.
48. One factor in the Director of Public Prosecutions'
sensitivity to the Article 10 point might have been the collapse
of the prosecution in R. v Murrer and Kearney in which
Mr Justice Southwell made a ruling under the Human Rights Act
1988 that the prosecution was in breach of Article 10 of the European
Convention on Human Rights, relating to press freedom.
The formal acquittal of the accused was announced on Friday 28
November, the day after the arrest of Damian Green, but seems
not to have sounded any alarm bells with those pursuing the Home
Office leak investigation.
49. The number of prosecutions for misconduct
in public office has risen over recent years, from five or fewer
in each year from 1998 to 2004 to ten in 2005, eight in 2006 and
twenty-one in 2007.
Some recent cases have involved dereliction of duty by police
officers, which may have contributed to a degree of heightened
awareness of this little-known offence.
Sir Gus O'Donnell told us that he had never had experience of
the offence of misconduct in public office being used before.
Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick was familiar with the offence
of misconduct in public office, having had knowledge of cases
in relation to police officers and other public officials: "it
has been used in a wide variety of circumstances including financial
and sexual misconduct as well as unauthorised disclosures of information".
Assistant Commissioner Dick told us that in the Metropolitan Police
district in the 18 months leading up to December 2009 "we
had about 58 people arrested and about 31 people charged with
it". In her view, misconduct in public office is not a particularly
obscure offence, but rather one that is useful and important:
"there are occasions, and they may be limited, when it is
an entirely proper and respectable, if I can put it that way,
offence to use, including in unauthorised disclosure cases where
there has been a gross abuse of trust".
50. As we have noted, the Director of Public
Prosecutions announced on 16 April 2009 that he had decided not
to bring charges against either Christopher Galley or Damian Green
for the offences alleged against them, because there was no realistic
prospect of a conviction against either of them. He had nonetheless
concluded that there was evidence upon which a jury might find
that the conduct of Christopher Galley, in leaking the documents
to Damian Green, had seriously breached the trust placed in him
by the public and that there was evidence upon which a jury might
find that Damian Green had aided or abetted Christopher Galley's
conduct. In the Director
of Public Prosecutions' view, "it is important that a breach
of duty that might best be considered as a disciplinary matter
should not be elevated to a criminal offence simply by virtue
of the fact that the person leaking the information is a public
contrasting view was expressed to us by Assistant Commissioner
the public do have an expectation of how their public
officials, their paid public servants, should behave. If there
is a gross abuse of that trust - I am almost talking as an ordinary
citizen here - I do not see that it is unreasonable to suggest
that should be subject to criminal sanction.
51. The Director of Public Prosecutions recognised
that the leaked documents undoubtedly touched on matters of legitimate
public interest; that Damian Green's purpose in using the documents
was apparently to hold the government to account; and the extensive
coverage of the issues by the national press, along with comments
from Government and Opposition sources, was evidence of public
interest in the contents of the leaked documents.
52. According to the DPP's statement of 16 April
2009, the threshold for criminal proceedings in such circumstances,
bearing on the freedom of the press to publish information and
ideas on matters of public interest, is particularly high.
He concluded that the overall evidence of damage to the integrity
of arrangements of handling restricted and/or confidential information
within the Home Office was not capable of meeting the threshold
necessary for the institution of criminal proceedings against
Christopher Galley and Damian Green.
53. Given the considerations advanced by the
Director of Public Prosecutions on 16 April 2009 when dropping
the case freedom of the press, public interest, the limited
extent of damage done and the high threshold for criminal charges
it is hard to understand why all this was not clear on
22 October 2008 when the police consulted CPS lawyers. Sir Ian
Johnston says that the police consultation with the CPS on 22
October 2008 was on a 'generic basis'.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner John McDowall of the Metropolitan
Police Service told us that "when it became clear that it
looked as though offences against the Official Secrets Act were
not at that time made out we sought the advice of the Crown Prosecution
Service who informed us that, on the face of it at least, there
was the possibility that offences of misconduct in a public office
We consider that if sufficient
rigour had been shown on 22 October 2008 the conclusion reached
on 16 April 2009 that the facts failed to reach the standard
required for prosecutioncould have been reached six months
54. The Public Administration Select Committee
was concerned that the use of misconduct in public office charges
in connection with the leaking of information might blur the boundaries
established by the Official Secrets Act 1989, which was passed
with the intention of limiting the areas in which it would be
a crime to leak official information.
We agree with the Public
Administration Select Committee and we wish to emphasise that
the common law offence of misconduct in public office should not
be used in relation to allegations of leaking of information in
order to subvert the clearly expressed will of Parliament to limit
the application of the Official Secrets Act to protecting only
information whose disclosure is likely to
be damaging to the security
and intelligence services, to the armed forces, to the interests
of the United Kingdom abroad or to the prevention and detection
55. One consequence of latching on to the common
law offence of misconduct in public office was what Deputy Assistant
Commissioner John McDowall described as its "potential severity".
Damian Green confirmed in his evidence to us that he was told
by the police while under arrest that he faced life imprisonment.
56. The CPS guidance on the elements required
for misconduct in public office sets out the third element of
the offence as wilful neglect and/or misconduct "to such
a degree as to amount to an abuse of the public's trust in the
office holder" but the Director of Public Prosecutions gave
a fuller version in his Statement of 16 April 2009: "the
breach must have been such a serious departure from acceptable
standards as to constitute a criminal offence; and to such a degree
as to amount to an abuse of the public's trust in the public official".
We recommend that the published
CPS guidance should be updated to include the Director of Public
Prosecutions' position on the offence of misconduct in public
office, as set out in his Statement of 16 April 2009.
57. The Bribery Bill [Lords], currently
before this House, may help to clarify some aspects of the law
on corruption. Last year the Joint Committee on the Draft Bribery
Bill recognised that the criminal law includes a wide range of
offences that are likely to overlap with the proposed bribery
offences under the draft Bill, including the common law offence
of misconduct in public office.
The Joint Committee noted that the Law Commission had decided
to concentrate on developing new proposals for bribery, rather
than undertaking a broader rationalisation of the law, and that
the Law Commission had concluded that some degree of overlap with
other offences was unavoidable and best resolved by prosecutors
deciding on the appropriate charge before commencing criminal
proceedings. In our
view the current law on misconduct in public office remains unsatisfactory,
not least because it is punishable with up to a life sentence.
We recommend that the Law Commission re-visit its 1997 recommendation
that misconduct in public office be made a statutory offence,
in the light of developments of the past dozen years.
The Cabinet Office asks the Metropolitan
Police to continue (29 October 2008)
58. Deputy Assistant Commissioner John McDowall
told us that the police could not be sure, until they had reached
the end of their investigative effort, whether the case that they
had prepared would meet the high threshold required to prosecute
for misconduct in public office.
Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick told us in January 2010:
"I do not think we will find ourselves in this position again,
partly because the Director [of Public Prosecutions] has made
it so very clear in relation to press and political leaks just
how high he sees the threshold".
59. Sir Gus O'Donnell told us that if the police
had gone to him and made clear there was no national security
aspect to the case, and that they were considering offences relating
to misconduct in public office he would have advised the police,
first, to consult the Crown Prosecution Service "because
personally I would be very, very surprised if there is anything
there" and secondly, if the case did not involve
national security, "my indication would be you are probably
wise to consider halting the investigation".
If the Cabinet Secretary
had been adequately briefed about the stage the leak investigation
had reached by 22 October 2008, it could and should have been
called off. Instead, and unfortunately,
the process of "negotiating" or "scoping"
the investigation culminated in another letter from Chris Wright,
sent to Deputy Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick at the police's
request on 29 October. Given that both parties knew what the internal
investigation had found, it is clear from the reference to the
1 September leak that Christopher Galley was now the principal
|CABINET OFFICE: CONFIDENTIAL INVESTIGATION NOW UNCLASSIFIED
29 October 2008
Further to my letter dated 08 September 2008 (which should have been dated 08 October) addressed to AC Robert Quick and his agreement to undertake an investigation, I am happy to confirm the following investigation terms of reference for the investigation that and from Cabinet Office have drafted together.
The terms are written against the background of a number of serious, unauthorised disclosures, which potentially have originated from the Home Office. We understand that at our request the Metropolitan Police intend to:
Conduct a scoping exercise to assess if any criminal offences have been committed.
Subject to the above and if appropriate
undertake an investigation to identify the source/sources of these unauthorised disclosures taking the unauthorised disclosure of the draft Home Secretary's letter to the Prime Minister reported in The Times on the 1st September 2008 as a starting point;
to identify the chain of that disclosure and any other related unauthorised disclosures; and
if necessary, appropriate and authorised, proactive measures should be taken to achieve these outcomes.
60. Assistant Commissioner Dick said she would
not describe the process of confirming the terms of reference
as a "negotiation"
I have got no reason to think at all that the Cabinet
Office officials at any stage tried to influence the terms of
reference. They were aware of what we were intending to do and,
as I said, we all thought that was very important. If you look
at the terms of reference they are carefully drafted and make
it clear, for example, that we are not going to deal with all
31 of these, we are going to start with the one on 1 September,
which was the one which appeared to be going to give us the best
initial leverage, and we were going to identify the chain of that
disclosure and any other related ones. Then it also makes the
point that we will only go to proactive measures, by which I mean
covert measures, if it is necessary, appropriate and authorised.
It was really a matter of trying to get clear with them what we
would and would not be doing.
Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick told us that
"If there had not been, on the advice of the CPS, any realistic
prospect at that stage of a crime being made out then, of course,
we would have said to the Cabinet Office, 'This is not territory
the leaks of which Christopher Galley was suspected had inflicted
any damage on national security. There was no basis for the concern
that the potential for future damage to national security was
significant. The Cabinet Office was wrong on 29 October to continue
to press for a police investigation of the recent Home Office
leaks, and it was a mistake for the Metropolitan Police Service
to act upon the Cabinet Office's request.
7 PASC Report, paras 8, 12 Back
PASC Report, pages 34 to 39 Back
HAC Report, para 13 Back
HAC Report, Q 14 Back
O'Connor Report, para 7.1.2 According to Denis O'Connor, the vast
majority of the Home Office leaks were of a low security classification,
and the one previously classified as Secret no longer posed a
threat to national security at the time of referral (O'Connor
Report, para 8.1.2) For the six leaks investigated by the police
see the extract from the DPP statement of 16 April 2009 below
after paragraph 25 of this Report. Back
HAC Report, para 13 Back
Ev 161 (Robert Quick) para 1 Back
PASC Report, Ev 68 to 69. Chris Wright moved on in 2009 from the
Cabinet Office to a post in the Ministry of Defence; Robert Quick
resigned as Head of Special Operations at the Metropolitan Police
Service in April 2009. Back
Q 7 Back
HAC Report, para 15 Back
O'Connor Report, para 7.1.6 Back
Q 818 Back
Qq 867 to 877 Back
Q 478 Back
Q 969 Back
The October 2008 version of guidance on leak investigations policy
and procedures (GLIPP) supplied to us by the Cabinet Office was
marked "restricted - policy" and is not published with
this Report. Back
Q 833; the Cabinet Office guidance paper on official information:
standards of conduct and procedures has been placed in the Library
as DEP 2009-3046 HC Deb 11 November 2009 vol 499 col 411W and
is cited in footnotes to this Report as DEP 2009-3046 Back
GLIPP para 4.1; Qq 856 to 861 Back
DEP 2009-3046; the Annex is the same as the Protocol at Annex
B to the O'Connor Report, pages 61 to 63 Back
DEP 2009-3046, para 10 Back
DEP 2009-3046, para 18 Back
DEP 2009-3046, para 22 Back
DEP 2009-3046, para 22 Back
DEP 2009-3046, Annex A, footnote 4; Q 859; O'Connor Report, page
Q 825 Back
Q 818 Back
Q 818 Back
Q 838 Back
Qq 838, 840 Back
Q 1087; Ev 162 paras 3 to 6; Ev 173 paras 4 and 5, Ev 174 para
Q 1086 Back
Qq 452, 456; DAC John McDowall subsequently told the Committee
(Q 458): "I do not think that "negotiate" is perhaps
the best word. Certainly we discussed where we would start the
Qq 862 and 863 Back
Johnston Report, page 32. The investigator's report was dated
24 October 2008 but Denis O'Connor indicates that this "revelation"
[that Christopher Galley was the probable leaker] was known before
the police met the CPS on 22 October 2008. Back
O'Connor Report, para 7.1.8 Back
O'Connor Report, para 8.1.4 Back
HAC Report, Qq 6-8, 19; according to Denis O'Connor, Christopher
Galley was a Senior Personal Secretary in the Home Office Strategy
Unit (O'Connor Report, para 7.1.3; Q 655). The Government Protective
Marking Scheme has several levels, which go to higher and more
sensitive levels than 'Secret'. Back
O'Connor Report, para 7.1.9; Ev 173 para 11, Q 1085 Back
Q 818 Back
Ev 163 para 9; Q 608 Back
Q 12 Back
O'Connor Report, para 7.2.7 Back
Q 93; Ev 136 para 9 and Ev 137 para 16(5)(A); Ev 161 Back
Edwin Duncan Sandys, Baron Duncan-Sandys CH PC (24 January 1908
- 26 November 1987) was MP for Norwood 1935-1945 and for Streatham
1950-1974. He was a Minister in successive Conservative governments
in the 1950s and 1960s. His first wife was Diana Churchill, daughter
of Sir Winston Churchill. In one of the exchanges on the Sandys
affair, Aneurin Bevan mentioned in passing that "The background
of all this, of course, is that there has been going on what has
been described in some circles as a Churchill espionage, and there
have been attempts to trace those sources of the right hon. Member
for Epping (Mr. Churchill)" (HC Deb 11 July 1938 vol 338
cols 997-998). Back
HC Deb 27 June 1938 vol 337 cols 1534-1538 Back
HC Deb 27 June 1938 vol 337 cols 1538-1539; Donald Bradley Somervell,
Baron Somervell of Harrow OBE, PC, QC (24 August 1889 - 18 November
1960) was MP for Crewe 1931-1945 and Solicitor-General 1933-1936,
Attorney-General 1936 -1945 and Home Secretary in the short-lived
Conservative caretaker government in 1945. Back
HC Deb 30 June 1938 vol 337 cols 2155-237. A related complaint,
that a military court had summoned Mr Sandys (as an officer in
the Territorial Army) to appear before a military court considering
the case of the Army officer who had passed the information to
Mr Sandys, was considered by the Committee of Privileges and subsequently
added to the terms of reference of the Select Committee on the
Official Secrets Act (HC 146 of 1937-38 and HC Deb 29 June 1938
vol 337 col 1919; 11 July, 1938 vol 338 cols 949-014; 18 July
1938 vol 338 cols 1807-14; and 19 July 1938 vol 338, cols 2013-43).
In relation to that case Sir Archibald Sinclair remarked "the
achievement of the Committee of Privileges was this, that we reasserted
and applied to new circumstances the vital principle that Members
of Parliament must not be hampered or molested, or obstructed
in the performance of their duties in this House by pressure from
outside" (HC Deb 19 July 1938 vol 338 col 2017). Back
HC 173 of 1937-38 and HC 101 of 1938-39 Back
HC 101 of 1938-39, para 16 Back
HC 101 of 1938-39, para 22 The Report was approved on 21 November
1939 after a short debate on a motion moved by the Prime Minister
Rt Hon Neville Chamberlain (who was also Leader of the House),
HC Deb 21 November 1939 vol 353 cols 1071-84. Back
Ev 136 para 9, Ev 137 para 16(5)(A), Ev 161, Ev 149-150 para 15 Back
Ev 150 para 15 Back
Q 819. Sir Gus O'Donnell did not refer to David Davis by name
in evidence to us in December 2009, but he made similar points,
referring to David Davis, in his oral evidence to the Public Administration
Select Committee on 11 December 2008 HC 83, Qq 5, 32, 55, 59-61,
72, 107. David Davis had been Shadow Home Secretary until he announced
his intention on 13 June 2008 to resign his seat to fight a by-election.
He was re-elected to the House on 10 July 2008. Back
Ev 161 Back
Q 824 Back
Qq 819,820 Back
Q 7 Back
The Civil Service, Report of the Committee on the Civil
Service chaired by Lord Fulton 1966-68, Cmnd 3638, June 1968;
Departmental Committee chaired by Lord Franks on Section 2
of the Official Secrets Act 1911, Cmnd 5104, September 1972;
Report from the Royal Commission on Standards of Conduct in Public
Life, chaired by Lord Salmon Cmnd 6524, July 1976; Home Office
White Paper on Reform of Section 2 of the Official Secrets
Act 1911, Cmnd 7285, July 1978. Will Owen, then Member for
Morpeth, was acquitted in June 1970 of eight charges brought under
section 1 of the Official Secrets Act in connection with allegations
that he had passed classified information to Czechoslovak intelligence
officers, including information contained in evidence to the House
of Commons Estimates Committee. The House had agreed on 1 February
1970 that the Committee documents could be produced in court. Back
HC Deb 21 December 1988 vol 144 col 480, cited in PASC Report,
para 38 Back
Official Secrets Act 1989 sections 1(4), 2(2) and 3(2). The Act
also applies to unauthorised disclosures which result in the commission
of an offence, or facilitate an escape from legal custody or the
doing of any other act prejudicial to the safekeeping of persons
in legal custody, or impede the prevention or detection of offences
or the apprehension or prosecution of suspected offenders. Back
Q 892 Back
DPP Statement of 16 April 2009, para 23, published in the Second
Special Report from the Home Affairs Select Committee, Session
2008-09, Policing Process of Home Office Leaks Inquiry: Government
Response to the Committee's Fourth Report of Session 2008-09,
HC 1026; cited in this Report as DPP Statement Back
O'Connor Report, para 8.1.7 Back
O'Connor Report, para 7.1.4: the guidance has now been replaced
- see paragraph 20 of this Report Back
O'Connor Report, para 8.1.10 Back
R v Bembridge (1783) 3 Doug K B 32 Back
CPS Guidance http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/l_to_o/misconduct_in_public_office/
last updated 19 November 2007. The CPS on-line guidance offers
links to Archbold 25-381 and several relevant cases, including
Attorney General's Reference (No 3 of 2003)  2 Cr
App.R 23, CA. Under Section 36 of the Criminal Justice Act 1972,
where a person tried on indictment has been acquitted, the Attorney
General may seek the opinion of the Court of Appeal on a point
of law which has arisen in the case. The procedure is not used
as an appeal against the acquittal, but to clarify important points
of law. Back
CPS Guidance http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/l_to_o/misconduct_in_public_office/#P50_6229 Back
CPS Guidance http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/l_to_o/misconduct_in_public_office/#P50_6229 Back
DPP Statement, para 35. The test set out in the Code for Crown
Prosecutors issued by the Director of Public Prosecutions under
s.10 of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 is whether there
is enough evidence resulting from the investigation to provide
a realistic prospect of conviction. Back
DPP Statement, para 25 Back
Confirmed in evidence to this Committee by Damian Green at Qq
DPP Statement, para 26 Back
Q 105; Sally Murrer, a journalist on the Milton Keynes Citizen,
was charged with aiding and abetting misconduct in a public office
by Mark Kearney, a former Thames Valley Police detective, who
was accused of leaking police information Back
HC Deb 2 February 2010 vol 505 col 264W. Figures for 2008 and
2009 are not yet available; see also letter from Rt Hon Jack Straw
to Dominic Grieve, 19 July 2009, placed in the House of Commons
Library as DEP2009-2136 Back
Thomas Lund-Lack, a retired detective inspector working as civilian
with the Counter Terrorism Command at Scotland Yard, was jailed
for eight months in June 2007 for leaking to a Sunday Times
journalist a secret Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre report on
planned al-Qaeda attacks. Lund-Lack admitted a charge of misconduct
in a public office, while an Official Secrets charge was expected
to lie on file (Media Guardian, 18 June 2007). Other examples
of police officers being charged with misconduct in a public office
may be found in press releases on the website of the Independent
Police Complaints Commission. Back
Qq 834, 906; DAC John McDowall told us that he could recall one
investigation in the last couple of years where the suggestion
had been made that an appropriate charge might be misconduct in
a public office (Q 469) Back
Ev 173 para 12 Back
Q 1118 Back
DPP Statement, paras 27 and 28 Back
DPP Statement, para 31 Back
Q 1127 Back
DPP Statement, para 32 Back
DPP Statement, para 34 Back
DPP Statement, para 34 Back
Johnston Report, page 32 Back
Q 438 Back
PASC Report, para 46 Back
Q 479 Back
Q 17 Back
CPS Guidance http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/l_to_o/misconduct_in_public_office/#P50_6229;
DPP Statement, para 24 Back
First Report from the Joint
Committee on the Draft Bribery Bill, Session 2008-09, HC 430-I/HL
Paper 115, paras 47 to 48 Back
Law Commission, Reforming Bribery, No 313, November 2008,
HC 35 Back
Q 473 Back
Q 1125 Back
Q 902 Back
This letter, originally marked CONFIDENTIAL- INVESTIGATION, was
supplied to the Committee by the Cabinet Secretary in December
2009, with the names of a police officer and a Cabinet Office
official redacted from the first paragraph, has since been unclassified
and a copy has been placed in the House of Commons Library HC
Deb 5 February 2010 vol 505 col 601-2W DEP 2010-0348 Back
Qq 1105, 1109 Back
Q 1120 Back