Tory MP asks Met Police to investigate Guardian alleging breaches of terror law - Press Gazette

Tory MP asks Met Police to investigate Guardian alleging breaches of terror law

A Tory MP has written to the Metropolitan Police urging it to investigate The Guardian for breaching the Terrorism Act 2000. 

Julian Smith, MP for Skipton and Ripon, said: “The Guardian newspaper and its editors have admitted that they did more than receive detailed information on UK and US intelligence services and report upon it.

“In online discussions they have revealed that they copied and distributed files to individuals and organisations abroad. If that is the case it goes beyond journalism to a breach of the Official Secrets Act. Furthermore it seems highly likely that they have communicated details of intelligence personnel internationally. If true, this puts our dedicated agents, and their families, at risk.”

Smith said section 58a of the 2000 Terrorism Act makes it an offence to release information on the security services that could be of use to terrorists. 

The MP addressed the letter to Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe. He asked whether the Guardian was providing “every possible assistance” to the Metropolitan Police to allow them access to the secret files.

“If it is not, please can you assure me that the Metropolitan Police will use every power available to compel the newspaper to do so, in the interest of national security.”

However, the Guardian dismissed the calls for an investigation into the newspaper.

A spokesperson said: "The high public interest in the stories we have responsibly published is evidenced by the debates, presidential review and proposed legislative reforms in the US congress, throughout Europe and in Westminster.  We're surprised that, once again, it is being proposed that terror legislation should be used against journalists."

Read the full letter here



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