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Former cop charged with leaking info to local journalist is named as man who bugged MP

A former police intelligence officer charged with leaking information to Milton Keynes Citizen journalist Sally Murrer was today identified as the man who bugged an MP on a prison visit.

Holdthefrontpage reported how ex-Thames Valley Police officer Jonathan Mark Kearney from Middleton, Milton Keynes, was charged in November with eight offences of wilful misconduct in a public office in connection with alleged leaks to the media.

The BBC and the Daily Mail have now named Mark Kearney as the man who bugged Sadiq Khan’s visits to Woodhill Prison, Milton Keynes.

Police are said to have eavesdropped on conversations between the MP and a man awaiting deportation to the US at Woodhill in 2005 and 2006 using a microphone hidden in a table.

The Mail claims that he raised concerns that the operation could breach rules supposed to protect the privacy of MPs. The paper goes on to say that in a statement given to the police following his arrest he has claimed that he faced mounting pressure during his final years of service – and makes particular reference to the incident involving MP Sadiq Khan and terror suspect inmate Babar Ahmad.

In a solicitor’s statement read to the BBC, Mr Kearney, who was working at Woodhill at the time, said he was under “significant pressure from the Metropolitan Police” requesting that the social visit by Mr Khan was covertly recorded.

Mr Kearney continued: “I did record the visit but have never thought it was justified in these circumstances.”

In the separate developments in November last year, journalist Sally Murrer was charged with three offences of aiding and abetting misconduct in a public office.

She was arrested last May along with Mark Kearney, another man from Herts Police, a soldier from Cambridge and a 52-year-old Hertfordshire man.

Police were investigating alleged leaks to the media and seized computers and paperwork from the Citizen office at Bletchley after spending several hours searching her desk.