I’m concerned that press and political comment on the Damian Green affair is ignoring the situation of the civil servant who’s also been arrested – and thereby missing the really important point behind all this.

It’s morally inconsistent and self-serving for politicians – like Denis MacShane on Today this morning – to suggest that the law must come down heavily to stop civil servants leaking and enforce their “loyalty” (to whom?), but that if in spite of that they do leak to politicians, those politicians should be treated more favourably than other citizens and kept safe from all harm. That position in no ways serves the public or openness.

The real issue here is what should be the content of the law, which should apply equally to ministers, civil servants, MPs and journalists alike. Do we want a system in which the police can arrest people for having or leaking non-security-related information the government doesn’t want disclosed, simply because it’d be embarrassing? Or do we want the law to protect disclosures genuinely made in the public interest? That’s the real issue here.