12 October 2009

Finding out the obvious about Damien Green’s arrest

After several months we are now told what we already knew at the time, that the arrest of Damian Green was “not appropriate” and the leak amounted to “embarrassment” for the government but did not threaten national security.  Ian Johnston’s report goes on:

In my view, the manner of Green's arrest was not proportionate because his arrest could have been carried out on an appointment basis, by prior agreement, and when he could be accompanied by his legal representative.

I recognise the significant political context in which the leaks occurred and the professional anxiety they caused within the civil service.

The more serious point is made by Green:

The police were misled about the security risks by a senior official in the Cabinet Office, which is itself very disturbing.

Then the police themselves used covert recordings to bug my conversations with officers, which is only legal in terrorist arrests.

The more we find out about my arrest the more disgraceful it looks.

The three people at the centre of this affair, Michael Martin, Jacqui Smith and Bob Quick have all left their posts.

Will that be sufficient to satisfy Damian Green or will he take matters further and demand a further explanation for what was clearly a politically motivated arrest.

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