Ready for the off... Please do comment as things progress. There is no delay for moderation. It's all in real time...
2.30 Quite astonishingly the Labour benches aren't full.
2.31 The Speaker is late turning up.
2.32 Very quavery voice.
2.33 Says he couldn't make comment until Parliament recovened. "It is this House that I serve and this House alone, and I am accountable for the actions of its officers".
2.33 "Parliamentary privilege has never prevented the operation of the criminal law". "No special restriction on Police searching parliamentary precincts".
2.34 Police didn't tell Serjeant at Arms identity of the MP likely to be arrested. At 7am on Thursday Police called the SAA and explained background. Disclosed to her Green's identity. SAA called Speaker and said that a search "might" take place. Was not told that the Police did not have a warrant. Have been told that Police did not explain, as they are required to do, that SAA was not obliged to consent, or a warrant could be insisted on. Regret that a consent form was then signed by SAA without consulting Clerk of the House.
Wow. Explosive stuff.
2.36 I did not personally authorise the search. Was only told that evening the search had gone ahead on basis of a consent form. Regret was told only by Police yesterday by letter that MP was arrested on suspicion of conspiring to commit misconduct in public office. Have reviewed handling of matter. From now on a warrant will always be required where a search of a MP's office or papers is sought. Every case must be referred personally to The Speaker. Will be made clear in a protocol to all MPs.
2.38 Referred matter to a committee of seven MPs nominated by the Speaker. Motion should be tabled by Govt for debate on Monday. Report to be debated by House as soon as possible thereafter.
2.39 Michael Howard is raising a Point of Order. Attack on DG's ability to do his job. Martin cuts him off. Howard asks him to make clear that any MP can question the conduct of government ministers of civil servants and house authorities. Martin says it is up to Govt to table the motion.
2.41 Sir Ming Campbell on a Point of Order. What is remit and powers of the proposed committee. Should keep account of fact that Police aren't above the law either. Committee must have info from every source - Govt, opposition, Police & Hof C
2.42 Martin agrees. Sort of.
2.43 John Reid: Four principles must be under discussion by Committee - rights and privileges of MPs, MPs are also subject to law, should Ministers have been consulted and the principle of independence of police is reasserted and principle of political neutrality of civil service.
2.45 Damian Green: Thanks all those who have expressed support. I believe MPs are not above the law. Those who have real power, are also not beyond the law. An MP endangering national security would be a disgrace. An MP disclosing embarrassing facts which the government are hiding is doing a job in the public interest.
2.46 Denis MacShane: Widespread anguish on all sides of House. Systematic breach of confidence in a Minister's office destroys confidence in the system.
2.47 IDS: Directed Executive to draft the motion. Am concerned that the Executive are also party to the whole issue which took place with the arrest of DG. Our concern is that that motion may be drafted in such a way to limit the scope of the debate. Could Speaker direct them to listen to all sides of the House in drafting the motion.
2.48 Speaker: Will be an amendable motion.
2.49 David Winnick: Can appreciate Speaker's frustration at waiting four days to remain silent. All you have said that what took place totally without any justification. Breach of parliamentary convention has taken place. Those responsible must come to the bar of the House to explain their conduct.
2.50 Douglas Hogg: Would he confirm Police are not above the law. What powers do we have to call those senior Police officers to account for this scandal?
2.51 Andrew Mackinlay: What is not clear is at what time Clerk informed and when did they speak to you. Were they available?
2.52 Speaker says he cannot question the statement.
2.52 Alan Beith: Can House say to its officers that we direct and will support you in the robust defence of Members' rights to speak to constituents.
2.53 Sir Patrick Cormack: Is it Speaker's intention will be a full day and could House have an idea of when Committee will report.
2.54 Speaker says this is a matter for the government.
And that's it. A truly memorable occasion.
Analysis to follow...