AddThis SmartLayers

Weekly leads way in uncovering cost of MP raid

A weekly paper led the way in revealing the cost to taxpayers of the failed police investigation into Conservative frontbencher Damian Green.

A political furore erupted after more than 20 counter-terrorism police stormed Mr Green’s home and Commons office as part of an inquiry into Home Office leaks, but no charges were ever brought against the Ashford MP

Mr Green’s local paper the Kentish Express has since revealed the £109,000 cost of the operation and its story was followed up by a number of national newspapers.

Using the Freedom of Information Act, Kent Messenger group political editor Paul Francis uncovered how the bill included more than £66,000 on police overtime and almost £35,000 for legal costs.

The figures obtained by the Express showed that a further £6,000 was spent on what was described as forensic submissions, thought to be partly associated with examination of computers and mobile phones taken away from Mr Green’s homes and constituency office in Bethersden.

The paper quoted the Ashford MP as saying: “It is clear that this was a colossal waste of taxpayers’ money and a waste of police time.”

The MP always denied any wrong-doing and in April, the Crown Prosecution Service said it would not be bringing any charges against either he or a civil servant accused of leaking sensitive information to him.