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AC Neil Basu statement re: National Security Council disclosure

News   •   May 04, 2019 13:16 BST

Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, the head of the Met’s Specialist Operations, said:

“I have spoken to the Cabinet Office regarding the nature of the material that was discussed in the National Security Council. This material was used to inform a discussion, the outcome of which was subsequently disclosed to the media. I am satisfied that what was disclosed did not contain information that would breach the Official Secrets Act.

“I have considered all the information available to me and I have taken legal advice. I am satisfied that the disclosure did not amount to a criminal offence, either under the Official Secrets Act or Misconduct in Public Office. No crime has been committed and this is not a matter for the police.

“Any organisation has the right to conduct an internal investigation into conduct in the workplace. It is not a matter for the police unless a crime is alleged. At no time have the police been provided with evidence by the Cabinet Office that a crime has been committed nor has it been suggested that a Gateway process would be required to enable that determination to be made. No crime has been alleged by the owner of the material and I am clear that the leak did not cause damage to the public interest at a level at which it would be necessary to engage Misconduct in Public Office. It would be inappropriate to carry out a police investigation in these circumstances.”

+ The Met’s Counter Terrorism Command (SO15) takes responsibility for investigating allegations of criminal breaches of the Official Secrets Act.

When this involves Government, there is an agreed mechanism through a formal Gateway Process for the police to assess information available in order to consider whether to conduct a criminal investigation into potential criminal offences including those under the Official Secrets Act and Misconduct in Public Office.