MPs demand release of Green arrest report

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Indy Politics

A cross-party group of MPs today put pressure on Home Secretary Jacqui Smith to release a report into the police's handling of the arrest of senior Tory Damian Green.

A critical report into the Metropolitan Police's actions by British Transport Police Chief Constable Ian Johnston has been "withheld from public scrutiny".

Shadow immigration minister Mr Green was held as part of an investigation into Home Office leaks.

In a Commons motion tabled by Tory Bernard Jenkin (N Essex), the MPs call for the Johnston report to be released to Parliament without delay.

Senior MPs from across the parties, including former shadow home secretary David Davis, former Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell and Labour chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee Keith Vaz have signed the motion.

The motion, signed by a total of 96 MPs, says the report "has been withheld from public scrutiny and from Parliament despite the fact that parts of the report were released by the Metropolitan Police on 16 December and used in comments by Assistant Police Commissioner Bob Quick".

The MPs urge Ms Smith to "take appropriate measures" to place a copy of the report in the Commons library.

Mr Green's arrest was made two weeks after junior civil servant Chris Galley was arrested on suspicion of misconduct in a public office.

The Met acknowledged the Johnston review raised concerns about whether "elements of the investigative approach meet current policy and best practice".

When the report was received in December Mr Quick said Mr Johnston had given a "reassurance that the arrests and searches were lawful".

But: "He recognises that there are arguments, either way, regarding proportionality over the manner of arrest of a Member of Parliament but questions the method taken in this case.

"He also raises concerns as to whether elements of the investigative approach meet current policy and best practice."

Mr Green had his bail extended until April earlier this month.

Senior Scotland Yard detectives said they need more time to consider the impact of parliamentary privilege on the evidence they have collected.