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Police search another Tory MP's office

Haven't these people ever watched The Sweeney?

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Daniel Kawczynski, Tory MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham, told the House of Commons last night that police turned up at his Parliamentary office and demanded to see correspondence from a consitituent.

Kawczynski, a member of the Justice Committee, told the House he meekly handed over the letters requested. Which begs the question - do Tory MPs never watch The Sweeney or The Bill? Every scrote on police procedural dramas seem to know an awful lot more about their rights than the average opposition MP. Correspondence between an MP and their constituents is further protected by law.

Officers entered Kawczynski's office while he was in the chamber. He returned to his office and they told him they wanted to see handwriting samples from letters sent to him.

Kawczynski told the House: "I am appalled that officers can behave in that way — entering a Member of Parliament’s office, with no warrant, and demanding constituency correspondence. To my great embarrassment and eternal shame, I was so weak that I handed over the letter from my constituent that they demanded."

A spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Police described the meeting slightly differently: "At 17.50 this evening (21/1/09) an officer based at the palace of Westminster attended a members office by appointment conducting a local investigation.

"The investigation was concerning a series of letters received at the house containing non-noxious white powder.

"A piece of correspondence matching the handwriting of those under investigation was removed from the office after permission was granted by the Member of Parliament."

This is believed to refer to an investigation into flour sent to schools minister Ed Balls.

A Conservative Party spokesman said: “We can confirm that Palace of Westminster police went to Daniel Kawczynski’s Commons office and took away correspondence. The Shadow Leader of the House is seeking clarification about this event. Mr Kawczynski is alarmed and concerned by what happened.”

Afterthe raid on Tory shadow home secretary Damian Green's offices and home in December the Speaker of the House Michael Martin assured Parliament such behaviour would not be allowed in future. Martin's contradictory statements on the matter sought to blame Serjeant at Arms Jill Pay.

Kawczynski's Hansard statement is here. ®

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