HMRC press officer charged under Operation Elveden

A PRESS OFFICER at HMRC is to be charged along with two others with conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office, as part of the Metropolitan Police inquiry into unlawful payments to public officials in exchange for information.

It is alleged that Jonathan Hall was paid £17,475 by the Sun newspaper’s Whitehall editor Clodagh Hartley in exchange for information about the government’s spending plans, including decisions relating to the 2010 Budget.

The Crown Prosecution Service confirmed on Tuesday that Hartley would be charged along with Hall and his partner Marta Bukarewicz, who is not a public official.

Gregor McGill, a senior lawyer with the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “It is alleged that between 30 March 2008 and 15 July 2011, The Sun newspaper paid £17,475 to Jonathan Hall, mostly via Marta Bukarewicz, in exchange for the unauthorised disclosure of information obtained as a result of his employment with HMRC.

“The information provided included details about government plans, including upcoming but as yet unannounced spending and policy decisions relating to the 2010 Budget and the coalition government’s deficit reduction plans. Information also related specifically to policy and decision-making within HMRC, including that relating to job losses and casework.

All three will appear at before Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 29 May 2013.

HMRC said it does not comment on individual members of staff.

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