Aug 22 2013
The UK Deputy Prime Minister has confirmed in a statement he ordered his top civil servant to make sure the Guardian destroyed classified data on US and British surveillance programs. This comes amid implications that Cameron was behind the decision.
The deputy Prime Minster, Nick Clegg, who is leader of the more liberally leaning Liberal Democrat party, has told the British media that he backed Cameron’s decision, a spokesman for the Deputy prime Minster said in a statement.
“On the specific issues of records held by the Guardian, the Deputy Prime Minister thought it was reasonable for the Cabinet Secretary to request that the Guardian destroyed data that would represent a serious threat to national security if it was to fall into the wrong hands,” the spokesman said.
Two months ago, Cabinet Secretary Jeremy Heywood, Cameron’s most senior policy advisor, contacted the Guardian and told them to hand back or destroy the material leaked to them by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
It also emerged that Cameron’s National Security Adviser Kim Darroch was involved, it was reported by Reuters.
Clegg said that he was “keen to protect” the Guardian’s freedom while at the same time protecting national security. The Deputy PM agreed that the destruction of the material would not stop the Guardian’s ability to publish further revelations.