Friday, November 28, 2008

The arrest of Damian Green

Like many others I'm absolutely stunned by the news of the arrest of Damian Green. (BBC News: Senior Tory [sic] arrested over leaks) So he's had information leaked to him that is sensitive of a political nature not a security one.

Many have flooded the blogosphere and airwaves to point out that the leaking of information by civil servants and its use by politicians is routine - Churchill's contacts in the 1930s are amongst the most famous. I don't want to get into the hyperbole - this is not Zimbabwe and Gordon Brown is not Robert Mugabe (or Stalin), no matter how hysterical the accusations are made in the heat of the moment.

But what is worrying is the way government ministers are denying they had any foreknowledge of a politically sensitive move, especially as it the Mayor of London (or technically in his role the chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority) was informed. As we have recently seen the political control of the Metropolitan Police is multiple but I cannot believe the Home Secretary knew nothing about this.

We must await further information but this whole thing strikes me as a cock-up of enormous proportions.

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