Cross party concern at arrest
It is not just Conservatives who are extremely concerned at the way shadow cabinet member Damian Green MP was arrested and had his home and parliamentary office searched.
I don't aften agree with former Labour minister Denis MacShane but I did agree with his response to the Green arrest. He said that the Speaker should make clear that MPs were entitled to hold sensitive material in the same way as lawyers and doctors, and added:
"To send a squad of counter terrorist officers to arrest an MP shows the growing police contempt for Parliament and democratic politics," he said.
"The police now believe that MPs are so reduced in public status that they are fair game for over-excited officers to order dawn raids, arrests and searches of confidential files held by MPs or those who work for them.
"I am not sure this is good for British democracy."
Tony Benn, not someone you would expect to rush to the defence of a Tory MP, said
"I may sound strangely medieval, but once the police can interfere with Parliament, I tell you, you are into a police state."
The Lib/Dems were equally incredulous, calling the arrest a "Mayday Warning" for democracy. Both their Home Affairs spokesman Chris Huhne and leader Nick Clegg expressed concern at Thursday's events: Nick Clegg told the BBC that he was "really shocked" by Mr Green's arrest.
"This is something you might expect from a tin-pot dictatorship, not in a modern democracy," he said.
Given the culture of "extraordinary secrecy" in Whitehall, it was getting harder to hold the government to account and opposition MPs had a constitutional duty to keep "ministers on their toes", he added.
He called on Gordon Brown to "rule out any further use of anti-terrorism powers in cases that have nothing to do with terrorism."