Home Office leak civil servant sacked

Jack Doyle,Press Association
Friday 24 April 2009 14:02 BST

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The civil servant at the centre of the Whitehall leak inquiry was sacked today.

Christopher Galley, a junior official in the Home Office, lost his job following a disciplinary hearing this morning.

Mr Galley and Tory immigration spokesman Damian Green were arrested by police investigating leaks from the department but were told last week they would not face charges.

Mr Galley was suspended on full pay after his arrest in November but disciplinary proceedings were put on hold while the criminal investigation was concluded.

The 26-year-old admitted leaking four documents, including one which revealed thousands of illegal immigrants were given clearance to work in the security industry.

After he learned he would not face charges, Mr Galley was defiant about his actions, claiming he leaked the documents because he was shocked at the incompetence he discoverd.

"I did it because what I saw happening was wrong," he said.

Sir David Normington, the most senior civil servant at the Home Office, has written to officials in the department reminding them of their duty to work for whoever is in Government, the Daily Telegraph reported.

The letter said: "When we sign up to work in the civil service we agree to work to the best of our ability for the democratically-elected government of the day.

"It is not for any civil servant to put his or her personal preferences of political opinion ahead of that duty."

A week ago the Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer, said the string of leaks were not damaging enough to require criminal charges.

He rejected the suggestion by senior civil servants that the leaks damaged national security.

Mr Green's arrest and detention provoked outrage in Westminster as his Commons office was searched along with his home and constituency office.

The five-month inquiry reportedly cost £5m.

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