Civil service leaks 'in the public interest'

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A civil servant arrested over alleged Home Office leaks passed information to Conservative immigration spokesman Damian Green in the belief that it would be used "in a responsible manner in the public interest", his lawyer said today.

Speaking on behalf of Mr Galley, Neil O'May, of Bindmans law firm, said: "We are here to give a statement to you in light of the various rumours that have been circulating.

"There has been much speculation and rumour circulating in the last few days following the arrest of Mr Damien Green."

He said he was "here to put the record straight".

His client met Mr Green in 2006 in the House of Commons and met him over the course of the next two years, he said.

"Mr Galley gave Mr Green information that was important for the public to know in an open and democratic system."

He said Mr Green "received the information in the same spirit and used it in the course of his parliamentary duties".

Mr O'May said his client "believed that it would be used in a responsible manner".

Mr Galley was arrested "in a dawn raid by the anti-terrorism officers at his home on November 19 this year", Mr O'May said.

He was held and questioned and volunteered the whereabouts of his computer, mobile phone and the documents the police were interested in, Mr O'May added.

"Those who instigated this investigation against a civil servant who was giving information to an MP should consider whether this was a proportionate way to deal with the issue.

"If there was ever a case of don't shoot the messenger then this is it."

He said as his client is on bail until January awaiting a police decision in his case he could not answer any questions.

In a separate statement, Mr O'May refuted suggestions made in the press that Mr Galley was "knowingly used by police to entrap Mr Green". He said: "This is a malicious rumour and wholly untrue."