Boris avoids Green inquiry

By Laura Miller

Boris Johnson will receive his second call to give evidence over the arrest of Damian Green today, after failing to attend the first time around.

A “disappointed” Home Affairs Committee yesterday wrote to the mayor and chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) to again request he attend their inquiry into the Home Office leaks that led to Mr Green being taken into custody in November.

The mayor was due to give evidence yesterday on the specific processes which led to the arrest of the shadow immigration secretary, but failed to show up.

“We were disappointed with the response from the mayor given his public expression of concern at the time of the arrest”, said Keith Vaz MP, chair of the Home Affairs Committee.

Also called to give evidence, the MPA told the committee they did not want to make details public yet due to their own ongoing investigations, but they did attend a private session at the committee’s request this morning to explain their reasons.

Assistant commissioner Bob Quick has been called to give evidence in public next week.

The committee said it understood the concerns of the police but stressed the importance of their evidence on the process of policing leaks.

“We are disappointed that they feel unable to provide us with any answers at this point,” said Mr Vaz.

“The mayor and assistant commissioner had significant roles to play in the circumstances which unfolded and we are asking again for them to appear next week,” he said, repeating the committee’s commitment to learn exactly what occurred and conclude the inquiry quickly and efficiently.

Home secretary Jacqui Smith and permanent secretary Sir David Normington gave evidence in the inquiry last week. Mr Vaz described them as “extremely helpful” in helping the committee understand what happened last November.

The Committee has to power to order the attendance of a witness if necessary.