Page last updated at 16:33 GMT, Thursday, 4 December 2008

In quotes: MP arrest row

Excerpts from the Commons Speaker's statement on the row over Damian Green's arrest and reaction from party leaders and backbench MPs.

SPEAKER MICHAEL MARTIN

"I was not told the police did not have a warrant. I have been told that the police did not explain, as they are required to do, that the sergeant was not obliged to consent or that a warrant could 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. I was not asked the question of whether consent should be given or whether a warrant should have been insisted on. I did not personally authorise the search." Commons statement

PRIME MINISTER GORDON BROWN

"I've got a great deal of confidence in the Speaker. He's got a very difficult job and he tries to do it, and does it, to the best of his ability." Radio 5 Live

HOME SECRETARY JACQUI SMITH

"The sustained level of leaking that had already taken place clearly suggested that this could go on, would escalate, and that more information of greater sensitivity could potentially leak." Commons statement

"Even if I had been informed, I believe it would have been wholly inappropriate for me to seek to intervene in the operational decisions being taken by the police. I will not do that and I should not do that." Commons statement

SHADOW HOME SECRETARY DOMINIC GRIEVE

"This episode has nothing to do with national security and everything to do with political embarrassment." House of Commons

EX-HOME SECRETARY JOHN REID

"I have to say I'm surprised that you [the home secretary] weren't informed that your opposite number, effectively, was about to be arrested. I cannot think that if I had been told that this had been done after the event that I would have remained as placid as you have in these circumstances." House of Commons

TORY LEADER DAVID CAMERON

"I hope there is something we can all agree on. Parliament is here to call the government to account, to question, to challenge and to publish information that is in the public interest. That is why we are here. People want to know whether our democracy, our right to challenge, to question and to oppose, are safe under this government and this prime minister." House of Commons

LIB DEM LEADER NICK CLEGG

"It is about defending a simple principle: that anyone wanting to unearth information about the way we are governed should not live in fear that they are going to have the anti-terror police on their doorstep. It is an argument on behalf of the public to ensure every citizen has the right to tell the truth about the government of the day however much it may embarrass ministers at the time."

HARRIET HARMAN, COMMONS LEADER

"I am not saying I have full confidence in anything or anybody; I'm just telling you what the procedures are." Newsnight, BBC Two

DAMIAN GREEN, TORY MP

"Can I make it absolutely clear that I believe Members of Parliament are not above the law. Those who have the real power in this country - ministers, senior civil servants, the police are also not beyond the law and beyond scrutiny. An MP endangering national security would be a disgrace. An MP exposing embarrassing facts about Home Office policy which ministers are hiding is doing a job in the public interest." House of Commons

MARGARET BECKETT, HOUSING MINISTER
"It is not for the government to pronounce on the Speaker, the Speaker is elected by the House... It didn't sound to me yesterday like this was all the Speaker's fault, or all the Serjeant at Arms' fault. It sounded like a singularly unfortunate set of events... I thought he handled things yesterday with dignity, in very, very difficult circumstances." Today, BBC Radio 4

MICHAEL HOWARD, FORMER TORY LEADER

"You sir, of course, will readily appreciate the outrage which was felt in all sides of the House over the attack on the ability of one of its members to do the job he was sent here to do - namely to represent his constituents and to hold the government to account." House of Commons

DAVID WINNICK, LABOUR MP

"All that you [Speaker] have said makes me all the more convinced that what took place - the raid, the arrest of the honourable member was totally without any justification whatsoever. There was a breach of parliamentary convention and can I finally say that I would like to see a position where those responsible, those senior police officers involved came to the bar of the House to explain their conduct." House of Commons

KEITH VAZ, HOME AFFAIRS COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN

"I was surprised as probably every member of this House to hear that a member's offices were searched without a warrant and with the consent of a third party. The Speaker was therefore right to set up the inquiry he has set up which we will debate quite rightly on Monday." House of Commons

RICHARD BACON, TORY MP

"I no longer believe the Speaker can stay in his job. He has failed in his fundamental duty to protect Parliament and to protect MPs from unlawful search and seizure. He is responsible and that means he has to take responsibility. He cannot blame others and he must resign."

HOME OFFICE MINISTER LORD WEST

"I don't think I have ever heard so many people - media and everyone - saying so much about something when they don't know any of the facts." House of Lords

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