I’m not blogging much at the moment: I’m sorry, teaching commitments are keeping me away. But I must comment on an apsect of the MPs’ expenses revelations carried by the Telegraph today.

BBC News is reporting that “the Commons authorities” have made a complaint to the police about the leak to the Telegraph. If that’s right, it must mean the Speaker has authorised getting the police involved. As readers of this blog will know, my view of the Greengate-Galleygate affair was that the real scandal was the apparent abuse of power from the Home Secretary in allowing the police to be called in; it was obvious that the leaks in that case did not merit a criminal investigation and that the police’s role was in effect to prevent embarrassment to ministers. Jacqui Smith has never answered properly for what she did.

I now think the Speaker is doing just the same thing here. It is plain that these revelations are in the public interest. It is also plain that they do not threaten national security or risk any lives. If the Speaker wants to conduct an internal investigation and discipline some Commons employee for leaking this stuff, so be it. But to treat it as criminal is as outrageous as Jacqui Smith’s behaviour over Damian Green. The only interest the Speaker is serving is politicians’ personal interest in protecting themselves from embarrassment. The police should not be abused in this way. It must be stopped.

2009-05-08T16:40:00+00:00Tags: , |