Ex-police officers who leaked allegations that pornographic images had been found on the computer of Cabinet minister Damian Green were in “flagrant breach” of their own code of conduct, a leading Bucks politician has said.

Former attorney general Dominic Grieve was in the headlines again this week after claiming the actions of the retired officers - which has left Mr Green’s political career hanging in the balance - had “the smack of the police state”.

On Friday, ex- Scotland Yard detective Neil Lewis told the BBC he was “shocked” at the volume of material found in a 2008 raid on Mr Green’s Westminster office and had “no doubt whatsoever” that it had been amassed by the Tory MP.

The allegations echoed claims made by former Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) assistant commissioner Bob Quick, who went public last month with his account of the material discovered during an investigation into Home Office leaks.

As Conservative MPs rallied round the embattled Mr Green - who is effectively Theresa May’s deputy prime minister - Beaconsfield MP Mr Grieve said that the decision of the officers to release information acquired in the course of a police investigation was “very worrying”.

“This can’t be right. They are in flagrant breach of their own code of conduct and practice,” he told BBC2’s Newsnight.

“Eight years later they choose to put material that an ordinary citizen would be prohibited from acquiring under data protection rules into the public domain on their own judgment.

“There is a way of dealing with that. If you think something is relevant you do it by proper official means. You do not go freelancing as these two officers have done.

“It has the smack of the police state about it. I find it very worrying. We give the police powers that other people do not have. They are not and must not be allowed to abuse those powers.”

Mr Green, who is the subject of a Cabinet Office inquiry into alleged inappropriate behaviour towards a young female activist, has denied looking at or downloading porn on the work computer.

Meanwhile the MPS said it was launching its own inquiry about how information gathered during an investigation was made public.