“I was not told that the police did not have a warrant..”

In his statement to the House of Commons on the search of Conservative MP Damian Green’s parliamentary offices, Speaker Michael Martin revealed that police had neither produced a search warrant nor was one demanded of them by parliamentary officials – which may impact on other considerations. Subsequent points of order below the fold. Adds The Times’ Political Editor, Philip Webster, identifies three losers after the Speaker’s statement – “Jill Pay, the Serjeant-at-Arms, the police, and Michael Martin himself.”
Points of order following the Speaker’s statement

And more points of order

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  • Dave

    [i]He added that the police did not explain, as they should have done, that the serjeant at arms was not obliged to consent to the search – or that a warrant should have been insisted upon.

    “I regret that a consent form was then signed by the serjeant at arms without consulting the clerk of the House,” Mr Martin said.

    “I must make it clear to the House that I was not asked the question of whether consent should be given or whether a warrant should have been insisted on,” he said. [/i]

    So, he is blaming the police for his own incompetence, i.e. for not telling him what he should have already have known in his role as Speaker of the House.

    He would resign if he had any sense of honour.

  • Baz está fresco em Vermont

    Why can’t we have T-72 tanks, as special forces overwhelm some old geezers armed with silk hankies and silver topped sticks,

    to be followed by a sadistic beating of the speaker, and news that HMtQ has been flown to a holiday resort in the Crimea ‘for her own safety’.

    It is all so darn naff.

    Baz

  • Llamedos

    My initial reaction is if this fellow could even pass the 11 plus even now.

  • Dave

    [i]The Mayor of London, speaking in his capacity as the chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority, said he had a “hunch” that Damian Green would face no charges over after an investigation into leaks from the Home Office.

    Speaking after his first public outing as acting commissioner of the Metropolitan police, Sir Paul Stephenson said it was “entirely inappropriate” to pre-empt to result of an ongoing police investigation.

    “I’m quite clear that we should not pre-judge the outcome of this inquiry,” Sir Paul said.
    [/i]

    There does seem to be a subtext in this of the police putting manners on the politicians. Was it really necessary for the acting Met chief to publically rebuke the Mayor? Hardly.

    By the way, perhaps someone should tell a certain Stormont minister to stop re-empting the outcome of PSNI investigations into criminal activity in his constituency?

  • Jimmy Sands

    Dave,

    Absolutely. The head of a Police Authority should be able to tell his Chief Officer how to run an investigation of his friend without having to put up with backchat. Darrie must be delighted to see Boris taking such a hands on approach.

    Incidentally, I’m wondering why it seems to be generally accepted that a warrant was required to search the office of a suspect under arrest. Isthere some arhument as to whether the office was really his?

  • Rory

    A warrant would be required if the police had reason to search for something which if found would then lead to an individual being placed under arrest, but if an individual was already under arrest no warrant would be required to search his person, premises, place of work or effects.

    Was Damian Green under arrest at the time of the search? It seems to me all depends on that simple fact. The Speaker and the Serjeant-at-Arms however both seem to have been completely at sea as to rights and procedure and if they were as decent and honorable as Haringey Council Leader, George Meehan, they would do the honourable thing and resign forthwith.

  • Baz está fresco em Vermont

    They don’t really need warrants, if they’re invited in for a cup of tea and are lawfully on the premises etc.

    Under Section 8 of PACE, magistrates may authorize the police to enter and search premises. A Section 18, PACE search without warrant after arrest. That is (approved) Inspector or higher. A Section 32 PACE search, the subject has to be on the premises or very recently there.

    The police can also apply for warrants for:

    Immigration Act 1971
    Criminal Damage Act 1971
    Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1989
    Terrorism Act 2000
    Firearms Act 1968
    Misuse of Drugs Act 1971
    Theft Act 1968

  • Baz está fresco em Vermont

    I’ve been about a bit, I take issue with the half-heartedness of the entire thing, if one is going to arrest MPs, make them vanish, or squeal

    that’s a proper police state, what we seem to have is a watered down version, of something that could be really Cromwellian,

    I know he has family and everything, a wife & etc. Why couldn’t he have been lifted, tortured a bit in the tower, not the Pear of Anguish, no way, I’m not that sick,

    I’m not saying too extreme, just a lashing, the rack, and that sort of thing, enough to display a penitent and broken man, properly sorry for his mischief, & for the confession.

    Then, he can be dragged away, to be tortured a little bit more (a technical formality) and then executed a wee bit.

    Then for the speaker, the blame passer, we can really go to town, a special…

  • Apparently warrants for the arrest of MPs are to be made matters for High Court judges. Might not be the best idea:
    http://thelawwestofealingbroadway.blogspot.com/2008/12/bugger.html