Today’s evidence to the Home Affairs Committee by Assistant Commissioner Bob Quick about the processes surrounding the arrest of Damian Green MP by the Metropolitan Police as part of their investigation into Home Office leaks throws some interesting light on the whole saga.
Most importantly he was not subjected to a dawn arrest which would have been the norm for anyone who was not a member of the House of Commons. According to Bob Quick, this was very much a “softer” option rather than the “customary, normal” option.
Moreover, the police went to “enormous lengths” to try to make the searches carried out at Mr Green’s home and offices in Kent and London “as discreet as possible”. Again, this was the kid glove treatment.
A member of the public would also not have had two of his associates (in Damian Green’s case these two associates were David Cameron and Boris Johnson) contacted to alert them that his offices were about to be searched. Nor would it have been customary to ask one of the associates (in this case David Cameron) to contact the individual concerned and invite him to contact the police.
According to Bob Quick, these efforts to soften the impact made the resulting investigatory process “more unwieldy”.