Thursday 16 April 2009

Will the Tories now give leakers carte blanche?

With the inevitable decision not to charge Damien Green or his accomplice in the Home Office leaks case, there is plenty of crowing from the Tories and criticism of the Home Secretary. The way the police handled the case was undoubtedly heavy-handed and the Commons Select Committee has said the Home Office exaggerated its concerns.

But given that the Tories think it is in order to encourage civil servants to breach the contracts they signed and the Official Secrets Act, I trust that when they next find themselves in power and trusted civil servants in their private offices take it upon themselves to share confidential briefings to ministers with the media and the opposition, we shall hear no complaints or moans.

Indeed, the right to leak must surely be written into the contract of anyone working in the private office of a Tory minister or adviser, must it not?

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