I was about to write a lengthy post about the role (real or imagined) played by the Director of Public Prosecutions in the arrest of Damian Green, but Ben Brogan has beaten me to it. It seems to me it is of crucial importance to establish whether Jill Pay, the Serjeant at Arms, was indeed told by the Police that the DPP had approved the search of Damian Green's office. She maintains that's exactly what she was told. The Police have remained silent on the issue, while the DPP has denied any involvement. Mr Speaker needs to clear up that issue on Wednesday.
Ben Brogan fingers the Parliamentary Clerk - now the most senior official of the House of Commons - as the man with questions to answer.
When the Speaker comes to make his statement on Wednesday to MPs, he will of course be relying on the three officials in front of him for advice in the event of any 'trouble'. And the senior official giving advice? Why, none other than the Parliamentary Clerk, Dr Malcolm Jack.
It was only very recently that the Serjeant at Arms was downgraded to a more junior role with a 50% salary cut. In the past, the position has always been held by a retired military man. All of the Serjeants I have met over 25 years have struck the fear of God into many of those who dealt with them, and would have been more than capable of telling a representative of the Met where he could shove his search warrant. Jill Pay does not have that authority, and from what I know of Dr Jack he is more a Reverend Slope figure.
But in the end this was Mr Speaker's call. Rumour has it that as soon as Parliament was prorogued on Wednesday evening he hot footed it north. Did he know what was brewing before he left the building, and if so, why didn't he change his plans?