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Jacqui Smith denies any knowledge of police search

And Speaker's 'speedy' enquiry goes slow

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Home Secretary Jacqui Smith told the House of Commons she had no prior knowledge of the police investigation into Tory shadow minister Damian Green.

She said she did not know an MP was the likely target of the investigation and that it would have been inappropriate for her to be involved.

Theresa May, shadow Commons leader, said it was now clear that Martin's promised speedy enquiry would be no such thing. It emerged today that the committee of seven senior MPs would meet and immediately adjourn until police investigations and criminal proceedings were finished - a process likely to take many months. May also questioned whether police accessed files belonging to any other MPs when they accessed shared drives on the House of Commons servers in order to seize Green's documents and emails.

Speaker Martin is coming under increasing fire over the warrantless search of Green's office and computers. He said yesterday that police entered Parliament without a warrant but only on the basis of a consent form signed by Serjeant at Arms Jill Pay. He said he regretted this but was not asked.

Asked if Commons servers were covered by the Wilson doctrine Martin said he would look into the matter.

Martin also said yesterday that he asked the Serjeant at Arms to contact the police in order to get Green's computers and mobile phones returned "by Monday" - but the police are still holding at least some of that hardware today. ®

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