MPs went home early today following the debate on the Nat West 3, called for by the LibDems and granted by Speaker Martin. it was called under Standing Order 24. Under Commons rules, the debate is called on a "Motion that this House do Now Adjourn". It is up to the Party calling for the debate to force a vote at the conclusion for the three hour debate. If the vote is won the House adjourns and the second part of the opposition day (a Conservative inspired debate) is lost. I understand that the LibDems had intended to force a vote, but when it came to it the Labour Party didn't put up any tellers and as they didn't oppose the adjournment motion, it was carried without a vote. Some MPs thought this was a bit odd, but put it down to the fact that every speaker, including Labour ones, in the debate spoke in favour of the Nat West 3 and the Government may have feared a defeat.
What no one knew was that Lord Levy was already in Police custody. Had MPs known that they would have demanded an immediate government statement, preferably from the Prime Minister, but probably from the Leader of the House, Jack Straw. With the House adjourned, that was conveniently (for Labour) impossible.
What will probably happen now is that Jack Straw will have to make a statement tomorrow, which will try to bat everything away by saying that the whole thing is sub judice. In itself a fair point, but this raises far more questions than the immediate future of Lord Levy.