Denis MacShane has written to David Cameron with some questions...
As you know I share the view of most MPs that the raid by the police on the Commons office of Damian Green is an assault on democracy. But I am concerned that you avoided to answer straight factual questions put to you in debate yesterday. I would be grateful if you would answer the following questions.
1) Who first made contact with Mr Galley and when?
2) When were you informed that one of your front bench team were in contact with someone working in the Home Secretary's private office?
3) How many meetings took place between Damian Green and Mr Galley?
4) Over what period did these meetings take place?
5) Did David Davis or Dominic Grieve meet, talk with, or see communications from Mr Galley?
6) Does any written or email communication exist between Mr Green or any other Conservative MP and Mr Galley, and will you publish it?
7) Have you ordered Mr Green and other past and present front-benchers to cooperate fully with the police as Tony Blair did when the Scottish Nationalist MP made his complaint about Labour Party funding?
I have made clear my position that the police behaviour in coming into Parliament was unacceptable. But I also believe that any attempt to induce on the basis of a party political relationship sustained over a long period a civil servant entrusted with the high honour of working in a ministerial private office and with a supreme duty of confidentiality to breach his duty of loyalty to the democratic government is also unacceptable. I would be grateful if you could publish short factual replies to the questions above before the debate announced for next Monday.
The last paragraph echoes much of what I've been saying over the past week, on Simon Mayo's show and the Westminster Hour (which I'm doing again this Sunday). But I think DC and DG are entitled not to answer the questions, seeing as there's an ongoing police investigation.
The question I want answered though, is who was responsible for getting Tory Boy a job in the Home Sec's private office in the first place? Ministers' private offices are small, close-knit teams: the private secretary, a handful of assistant private secretaries, and a diary secretary. Given the well-established principle of civil service neutrality, and the fact that the Home Office is probably the most politically-charged department, didn't the fact that he'd stood as a Tory candidate not so long ago ring any alarm bells? Or didn't they know?