Damian Green affair: Information Commissioner to examine possible data protection breaches

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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  1. NMac December 21, 2017 at 1:34 pm - Reply

    If they are to look at “Misconduct in a Public Office” – perhaps they should be looking at Johnson, Davis and Fox, three proven liars and corrupt politicians.

  2. Stephen F Howard December 21, 2017 at 1:43 pm - Reply

    lets hope that these officers get sent to court and Green gets called as a witness under oath. Who knows what else might be said and who else may be implicated because I can imagine a case of this nature becoming more of a judge led Inquiry than a simple data protection case. What other names may be in the frames. ?

  3. Barry Davies December 21, 2017 at 1:43 pm - Reply

    Having lied, which he clearly did May was right to sack him he clearly knew of the allegation, however the it is also correct to ask why the Police officer decided to bring the matter up at this time.:- https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/dec/20/damian-green-and-the-history-of-a-pornography-scandal?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+main+NEW+H+categories&utm_term=257479&subid=23020183&CMP=EMCNEWEML6619I2 is worth a look

  4. joanna December 21, 2017 at 2:18 pm - Reply

    I don’t think it is difficult at all! Those Police officers should have left all the files at work, in essence they are guilty of theft! Even though they collected the infomation, It did Not belong to them, and unfortunately this situation may very well work to Greens advantage in that he could sue for being forced to resign, maybe that was the ultimate aim?!!!

    • Mike Sivier December 21, 2017 at 7:45 pm - Reply

      There’s a comment about whistleblowers around here somewhere that makes a pertinent point. What do you think about that?

      • joanna December 22, 2017 at 12:01 am - Reply

        Please don’t get me wrong Mike I just hope he would lose his pension as well. But in my dysfuctional world the most Horrible injustices are always happening! It seems that this government gets away with everything, I think whistleblowers are essential to our lives, but there are too many evil people discrediting them, thus their lives can be destroyed!!!

        According to the BBC news tonight he was sacked!

        • Mike Sivier December 22, 2017 at 3:58 pm - Reply

          In real terms, he was. Theresa May demanded his resignation and he provided it. That way, he keeps his fat ministerial pensions. Corrupt, isn’t it?

  5. Masmit December 21, 2017 at 3:03 pm - Reply

    Mike, it seems to me there’s a contradiction of rules.
    Whistleblowers should be protected if it’s in the public interested.
    Funny how MSM are not mentioning it.

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