British anti-terror chief says sorry to opposition party

December 22nd, 2008 - 8:28 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Dec 22 (IANS) The police officer heading Britain’s anti-terrorism efforts Monday apologised to the opposition Tory party after accusing it of trying to undermine him by mobilising the press against him.Bob Quick, assistant commissioner of police in charge of specialist operations and counter-terrorism, apologised “unreservedly” after leading members of the Conservative party said his outburst called his judgement into question.

Quick’s comments came after the pro-Tory Mail on Sunday newspaper carried a report about his wife’s business, prompting him to claim the Tories were behind the article and that the press had been “mobilised” against him “in a wholly corrupt way”.

He also moved his children out of his home after deciding the report compromised his family’s security.

Quick said in a statement Monday: “I wish to make clear that it was not my intention to make any allegations and retract my comments. I apologise unreservedly for any offence or embarrassment that I have caused.”

This is not the police officer’s first run-in against the Tory party - in November he authorised the arrest of senior Tory MP Damian Green in an inquiry into Home Office immigration leaks.

In an earlier statement Sunday night, Quick had retracted the allegation of corruption but stuck to his wider claim that the Tories were trying to thwart his leaks inquiry.

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