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Bob Quick: One of the former officers who has been accused of breaching the Data Protection Act, Mr Quick was still at the Metropolitan Police when this image was taken.

The Information Commissioner has been asked to investigate whether former police officers breached their data protection responsibilities to make information public that pornography was found on a computer in Damian Green’s Parliamentary office in 2008.

It is alleged that former Metropolitan Police officers Bob Quick and Neil Lewis should not have retained the evidence they used to accuse Mr Green, nor should they have made it public.

That’s all very well – but the fact is that Mr Green has been forced to resign because he lied about those allegations; they revealed an aspect of his character and/or behaviour that was unacceptable in a UK government minister.

Mr Green had claimed he was not notified of the fact that pornography was found on the office computer, when in fact he was made aware of it in 2008 and 2013.

So it may be argued that the ex-officers had a duty to disclose the information in the public interest. And don’t all police officers swear an oath to pursue justice – an oath that overrides all other considerations?

As I am writing this article, a Conservative has appeared on BBC News, saying the former officers should be investigated for “misconduct in public office”, saying people would not be able to trust the police with their personal information.

But this was damning information – people who are innocent of wrong-doing have nothing to fear, it seems to This Writer. And they would have to still be in public office, to be accused of misconduct in it. Wouldn’t they?

The issue is complicated – and the law may not be written in a way that supports justice in this case.

So the Information Commissioner has a difficult job. Let us hope the final verdict supports the interests of the public and of justice – and not the petty concerns of politicians who have been shamed.


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