HC Deb 07 July 1983 vol 45 cc138-9W
Mr. Ashton

asked the Attorney-General what representations he has received, and on what date, concerning the publication of the memoirs of the ex-chief constable of the West Yorkshire police; what action he took; and if he will instigate a prosecution of Mr. Gregory under the Official Secrets Acts.

The Attorney-General

The only representation which I have received concerning the memoirs of the ex-chief constable of the west Yorkshire police is one letter received on 29 June 1983 from a member of the public.

The two articles published in the Mail on Sunday appear to be based largely on information which has already become public knowledge — either during legal proceedings or the subsequent inquiry — supplemented by anecdotal recollections of a personal nature. There is no information contained in the articles the disclosure of which can be ragarded as damaging either to the public interest or detrimental to the effective investigation of crime. On these facts proceedings under the Official Secrets Acts are not justified. The real gravamen of the former chief constable's conduct lies in the poorly disguised commercial exploitation both of his former position and a series of vile crimes. However distasteful and unprofessional neither consideration justifies invoking the Official Secrets Acts.

A reply is being sent to the member of the public along the same lines as this answer.

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