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Monday, December 01, 2008

Fine line on leaks in the UK

Frenzy of protest and indignation in the UK media over the arrest of Conservative MP Damian Green in connection with a series of leaks of information about immigration matters, for the common law offence of (depending on who you read) aiding and abetting a person, or conspiring to have a person commit misconduct in a public office. Apparently in the home of the Official Secrets Act, that didn't get rolled out on this occassion.

Nick Robinson of the BBC suggests the line between receiving leaks (fine) and inducing them (maybe criminal) may have been crossed. All will no doubt be revealed in due course,and an update today with the floating of a public interest defence by the source of the leaks.

Apparently the last time a member of parliament in the UK was arrested on these grounds was 70 years ago. Has it ever happened here?

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