EXCLUSIVE: Police attack official suspected of leak in Washington files – 15 months after Mail on Sunday bomb brought down ambassador
- The official was arrested on suspicion of leaking diplomatic explosives
- Met counterterrorism officers entered the official’s flat on Tuesday
- The officer is believed to work in the Department for International Trade
An official has been arrested on suspicion of leaking explosive diplomatic cables written by the former US ambassador to Britain, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
Metropolitan Police counterterrorism officers entered the official’s Westminster flat on Tuesday during a dramatic morning raid.
The officer, who is believed to work at the Department for International Trade (DIT), was arrested on charges of violation of the Official Secrets Act and misconduct in public office.
He was reportedly held at a London police station for more than 30 hours before being released on bail. Officers allegedly confiscated a laptop and his passport.
The arrest, which will send shockwaves through Whitehall, comes 15 months after this newspaper unveiled a series of bombshell cables and memos written by former US Ambassador Lord Darroch.
The arrest comes 15 months after the Mail on Sunday revealed a series of bombshell cables and memos written by former US Ambassador Lord Darroch (pictured)
In it, he described Donald Trump as ‘clumsy’, ‘insecure’ and ‘incompetent’ and warned that the president’s career could end in ‘disgrace’.
The story made headlines around the world and prompted Mr. Trump to label Lord Darroch and then Sir Kim as a ‘stupid dude’ and ‘pompous fool’.
Darroch resigned three days later when Boris Johnson refused to support him during a televised Tory leadership debate.
The latest development came when Lord Darroch was accused last week of giving sensitive information to an American TV reporter with whom he had an alleged affair. Clearly, they firmly deny the claims.
The arrested officer is believed to have been suspended with full payment. The DIT has started its own internal leak investigation.
The involvement of the Scotland Yard Counter-Terrorism Unit in the hunt for the mole is believed to have been followed by an independent review by the police and prosecution as to whether the Official Secrets Act might have been violated.
GCHQ, the government’s espionage organization, is also said to have been involved.
The officer, who is believed to work at the Department for International Trade (DIT), was arrested on charges of violation of the Official Secrets Act and misconduct in public office. Picture: stock picture
Journalist Steven Edginton (pictured) later revealed that he had received the diplomatic messages from a ‘trusted source’ while examining how the civil service was preparing for Brexit
Fourteen days after the contents of the State Department cables were published, journalist Steven Edginton came forward to reveal that he had received the diplomatic messages from a ‘trusted source’ while investigating how the civil service was preparing for Brexit .
While the leaked cables greatly embarrassed Lord Darroch, they contain no state secrets.
When asked at the time, Mr. Johnson defended the freedom of the media to “ bring new and interesting facts into the public domain ” and added, “ It’s embarrassing, but it’s not a threat to national security . ‘
But the so-called Washington Files revelations sparked a chilling threat from the Met’s assistant commissioner Neil Basu that publishing the contents of the documents could be “ a criminal case. ”
Unbowed, the MoS published further explosive claims that Trump had left the Iran nuclear deal to oppose his predecessor Barack Obama.
Last night, a government source confirmed that someone had been arrested in connection with the leak investigation.