No data accessed in Damien Green raid, speaker tells MPs

The speaker of the House of Commons has reassured MPs that data held on Parliament's computers were not accessed by police during raids on the...

The speaker of the House of Commons has reassured MPs that data held on Parliament's computers were not accessed by police during raids on the Tory immigration spokesman's office at the Commons.

Damien Green's office was searched by police last month in relation to an inquiry about a leak in the Home Office. MPs have been concernedtheir communications could be intercepted.

This would be in breach of the Wilson Doctrine, established in 1966 by Prime Minister Harold Wilson. This banned the tapping of UK MPs' and peers' telephones.

The speaker said if the Parliamentary Information Communication and Technology Service (PICTS) received a request for access to computer systems it will seek confirmation that a warrant exists and that the speaker has approved of access.

John Pugh, Liberal Democrat MP for Southport, said most MPs are unaware that information on these systems is exposed.

John Pugh said he already uses his own secure link to his computer system from the House of Commons to ensure confidential information is safe.

He said: "I have no reason to believe that any information has been illegally accessed I just assume there is this possibility."

"This is one of the reasons why I have my own ADSL line routed into my own server," said Pugh. "I have always assumed that GCHQ and the police have access to whatever is on the Commons systems and in principle it is also possible for anyone that works for PICTS to access information on the Dell systems in the Commons."

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