Tory whistleblower gets short shrift
It doesn’t pay to pass secrets to the Tories, according to the former Home Office official Christopher Galley
Christopher Galley, the civil servant who smuggled sensitive Home Office documents about crime and immigration to the Tory MP Damian Green, must be looking at the feeding frenzy surrounding the MPs' expenses leak - for which the Daily Telegraph is said to have paid £75,000 - and thinking that he made a bad call. First, he gave his information to a politician not a journalist, and, second, he didn't charge for it.
Galley, 27, believed he was passing on data that was in the greater public interest. Yet despite the great political capital that the Tories earned from his whistle-blowing, Galley claims in the Times today that the party has washed its hands of him. Galley claims - though the Tories have always refuted this – that Green promised him: "If you are fired, we will look after you." But they haven't.
Galley (pictured above right) first came into contact with the Conservatives after he was summoned to a meeting with the then Shadow Home Secretary David Davis in May 2006. Galley had commented favourably on an article posted on the Tory website about immigration, and was shocked to find himself - then just 24 and working at the Border and Immigration Agency near Heathrow - being quizzed by Davis and Green, the party's immigration spokesman.
Galley contacted all 193 Tory MPs to ask for help in finding a job - not one replied
It was Green (pictured above left), Galley remembers, who suggested that he provide information to the party, but was never so crude - or foolish - to explicitly ask the civil servant to leak documents. Over the next year the pair stayed in contact, until Galley was promoted to administration officer in the Home Office.
There he came across an internal document about illegal immigrants working in the security industry and passed it to Green in July 2007. The shadow minister gave it to the press, and told Galley: "Well done. This is pretty explosive stuff."
Over the next year Galley continued to pass information to Green relating to the 42 days detention vote. The Government launched an investigation into who was leaking the damaging material, which Green was making great play with, but Galley was not identified as the mole until a dawn raid on his home on November 19, 2008.
When Galley called Damian Green to tell him of his arrest and to warn him that he had passed the Tory's name to the police, Green put him in touch with someone from Liberty. But that, says Galley, was the last he heard from the shadow minister. Green was arrested eight days later after a raid on his parliamentary offices.
The only good news for Galley is that he, like Green, learned last month from Keir Starmer, QC, the Director of Public Prosecutions, that he would not face any charges over the leaks.
But it didn't stop him being fired from the civil service. And when Galley contacted all 193 Tory MPs to ask for their help in finding him a job – not least to help pay his £3,400 legal bill - not one replied. Even his mentor Damian Green cut him dead with the following curt email: "I am delighted that this is now at an end and, as the Director of Public Prosecutions said, 'The documents leaked undoubtedly touched on matters of legitimate public interest and [my] purpose in using the documents was apparently to hold the Government to account.' This is exactly the case. All good wishes, Damian."
As Green told the Times: "I think I have been terribly naive. I feel as though I have been dumped and they are treating me as political poison, as if they don’t want to touch me now that I have done their dirty work." ·
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