Page last updated at 18:28 GMT, Sunday, 21 December 2008

MP arrest officer accuses Tories

Assistant Commissioner Bob Quick
Mr Quick said he was forced to move his family by the newspaper story

A row has erupted between the senior police officer investigating Home Office leaks and the Conservatives.

Anti-terror chief Bob Quick said the Tories were trying to undermine his inquiry following a newspaper story that he said endangered his family.

Mr Quick says he was forced to move his family after details of their home were published. The Conservatives denied having anything to do with the story.

The leaks inquiry saw the arrest of Conservative frontbencher Damian Green.

In response to the Mail on Sunday story, Assistant Commissioner Quick said: "The Tory machinery and their press friends are mobilised against this investigation.

"I think it is a very spiteful act, possibly to intimidate me away from investigating Mr Green, and I feel it has put my family at risk."

Mr Quick, head of the Metropolitan Police's counter terrorism squad, later retracted a further remark suggesting corruption.

A Conservative Party spokesman said it had "played no part whatsoever in the publication of this story".

"As the officer leading the inquiry into the allegations involving Damian Green, Assistant Commissioner Quick should display objective professionalism and not make baseless, political attacks," the spokesman said.

"He should retract all of his allegations immediately."

'Deteriorating relationship'

BBC political correspondent Norman Smith said that a "long, simmering tension" between Mr Quick and the Conservatives, mainly stemming from the arrest of the senior Tory, had "exploded into the open".

"The relationship between the Tory party and senior police officers now appears to be deteriorating really very rapidly indeed," our correspondent said.

The arrest of Mr Green and search of his home and offices earlier this month prompted a political row.

There was an outcry among MPs from all parties that the police action represented a fundamental breach of their right to hold the government to account.

Police had been asked by the Cabinet Office to investigate alleged leaks from the Home Office.



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