Friday 28 November 2008

The arrest of Damian Green

The arrest of Damian Green seems to be the latest in the heavyhanded approach of the police to politicians and those working in politics.

I don't recall hearing much outraged comment about 'heavy-handed' police tactics from the likes of Michael Howard and David Cameron when some of Tony Blair's advisers were arrested in even more bizarre circumstances, subsequently to be exonerated. And it is utterly disreputable of the Tory duo to suggest that the Home Secretary is lying when she inisists she was not involved in the police being called in to investigate leaks in the Home Office: the Tories have embarked on a strategy of shouting unfounded accusations as loudly as possible as a substitute for serious policy, as was evident earlier this week on the PBR.

Nevertheless, it does seem bizarre that the police have chosen to arrest an MP on this issue, as none of the documents cited in the papers today would appear to have had national security implications. And if charges are not made, the Metropolitan Police should be much clearer about why they made this arrest (rather than simply questioning Green if they needed to do so) and explaining the criteria they use before making such arrests for the future.

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