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… a rather fun phrase from Ian Johnston’s report on the fiasco that saw Damian Green MP arrested by the Metropolitan police and held for nine hours over his receipt of leaked government documents from one Christopher Galley.
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An inquiry has found that the arrest of Conservative MP Damian Green, after government documents were leaked to his office by civil servant Christopher Galley, was “not proportionate”.
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Christopher Galley doubts that the latest recommendations will protect whistleblowers. Investigations into leaks need to be wholly independent of politics (more…)
This is a guest post by Martin Bright
The sacking of Christopher Galley, the Home Office civil servant who leaked documents to the Conservative Party, demonstrates the golden rule in such cases: the whistleblower always suffers. As a serial recipient of leaks, I know this is defeatist talk, but journalists and their publications should recognise this as a fact.
The criminal case against Galley and his Tory ‘handler’ Damian Green MP collapsed this week. But Galley was still dismissed for gross professional misconduct. In times like these, depriving someone of their job is a serious matter, especially when it leaves a disciplinary charge on the CV.
This is a particularly vindictive way to approach a whistleblower, especially cruel when the information he leaked should have been in the public domain anyway. I don’t believe there isn’t somewhere in the vast Home Office bureaucracy that Galley could have been found a job (well away from confidential documents if necessary).
The same is true of Derek Pasquill, the Foreign Office whistleblower who leaked details of the government’s relationship with radical Islam to me. Derek was also dismissed, despite the immense service he did to the country and the government (its policy changed as a direct result of his disclosures).
I believe there is a duty of care on the part of those who directly benefit from the work of whistleblowers towards those who have taken risks on their behalf. Derek Pasquill is fighting his dismissal, and I believe the New Statesman, the Observer and the think tank Policy Exchange (the publishers of his allegations), should help him with his legal costs.
The same is true for the Conservative Party in this case, which should help Christopher Galley back into employment immediately.