Action of ex-officers in Damian Green case 'abhorrent', says police leader

The head of the Metropolitan Police Federation has condemned the "abhorrent" actions of two retired officers accused of leaking details about the discovery of pornography on former Cabinet minister Damian Green's computer.

Ken Marsh, whose organisation represents more than 30,000 officers, spoke out after Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson suggested they may have been motivated by a "vendetta".

Former Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner Bob Quick and ex-detective constable Neil Lewis have been warned they could face prosecution for passing confidential information obtained during a 2008 police inquiry to the media.

Mr Marsh told The Times: "It's unfair and disingenuous that again we are being hauled over the coals when most of my colleagues think that what these retired officers did is abhorrent.

"We are all privy to confidential information but we respect the rules. All this has done is pit the Tories against the police again."

His comments come amid a furious backlash from Conservative MPs in the wake of Mr Green's sacking on Wednesday.

Speaking during a visit to Moscow, Mr Johnson added his voice to calls for further investigation of the way police evidence about the discovery of legal porn on his work computer found its way into the press.

He said: "I'm very sad for Damian and I think he has been a fine public servant and done a great job, and hopefully one day he will come back and continue to serve in other ways.

"I think plainly, judging by the exchange of letters, he agreed that he had broken the ministerial code so the result was inevitable.

"But I think it was a bit whiffy, frankly, this business with whatever happened with the information from his computer.

"I don't quite see why that was brought into the public domain in the way it was. I think it needs to be investigated further, as the Prime Minister was saying.

"It had the slight feeling of a vendetta."

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