Leveson Told Damian Green Rang Andy Coulson After Home Office Leaks Arrest
Tory MP Damian Green used his one phone call when he was arrested over Home Office leaks to ring Andy Coulson, the Leveson Inquiry has been told.
The then-shadow immigration minister chose to contact the former News of the World editor when he was held by police on November 27 2008, according to the officer who led the investigation.
Green - now the immigration minister in the Home Office - was arrested in November 2008 in connection with a series of leaks at the Home Office.
These disclosures were highly embarrassing to both Parliament and the Labour government at the time, but Green was released without charge.
Ex-Scotland Yard assistant commissioner Bob Quick said Mr Green rang Mr Coulson, then the Conservative Party's director of communications, from Belgravia police station in London.
Mr Quick said in a written statement to the inquiry: "At the police station Green went through the normal reception processes and, in accordance with standard procedure, was asked to nominate a person to be notified of his arrest and to whom he would be allowed one phone call.
"Green nominated Andy Coulson and was allowed to make one call to Mr Coulson. At the time Mr Coulson was director of communications for the Conservative party."
The statement has not yet been posted on the Leveson Inquiry's website, but an extract from it was reported by London's Evening Standard newspaper today.
Mr Quick told the inquiry yesterday that ex-Met commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson and ex-assistant commissioner John Yates both tried to persuade him to drop the controversial Damian Green investigation.
The Crown Prosecution Service announced in April 2009 that neither Mr Green nor junior Home Office civil servant Christopher Galley would face prosecution over the leaks.
Mr Coulson was arrested by police on suspicion of phone hacking and corruption last July. He was bailed and has not been charged.