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Tory terror police were 'fishing' for Liberty

Damian Green on Keystone Kops

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Damian Green said being arrested and questioned by anti-terror police would have been a frightening experience, if it hadn't been so comical.

Green said it was like the Keystone Kops - police called David Cameron's office to try and track Green down and they inititially surrounded the wrong house.

Police took computers, phones, fax machines, Post-It notes and bank statements from Green's house in Kent.

But Green said if there really had been national security implications, then the police were "appallingly negligent" because the civil servant Christopher Galley was arrested nine days before Green was questioned.

Talking to The Times, Green said some police had got too close to the government. He singled out Bob Quick - who resigned last week - for being too quick to blame the Tories for negative press stories.

Green also told the paper that police searched his email archive for contact he might have had with the head of campaign group Liberty - which had nothing to do with any leak investigation.

Green said: “They chose key words to search all the e-mails and documents and among the more noteworthy and alarming words they were searching were Shami Chakrabarti, [the director of Liberty]. The police wanted to look at every e-mail over the past few years between an opposition politician and a civil liberties campaigner, although Shami Chakribarti had nothing to do with any of the leaks. This feels to me like a fishing expedition on somebody who embarrasses the government of the day. That is very disturbing.”

The shadow immigration minister was questioned for nine hours at Belgravia police station while his homes in Kent and London were searched along with his Parliamentary office. Green criticised Commons authorities for letting the police in without a search warrant. He also said it was unlikely that ministers did not know of his imminent arrest. ®

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