A government minister caught, not just once, but on 5 occasions (ie habitually), dropping important papers into bins in St James's Park, could reasonably expect to make the headlines on every news bulletin and in most newspapers.
But by the most amazing stroke of good fortune (at least for our Olly), the only legal fox hunt in England came to an end today with the result that pictures of the bloodied animal and stories of his inevitable fate have taken precedence in all media, even the 'Daily Mirror', which was responsible for breaking the Letwin scandal.
Mirror photographers caught the hapless Cabinet Office Minister of State glancing at papers and dropping them into public waste bins. According to a Cabinet Office spokesman, the papers contained no classified or secret information. According to the journalists who found them on the other hand, they included, amongst other things, briefings and correspondence on terrorism and national security and government planning.
The newspaper backs this up with details of some of the correspondence, which includes letters between members of a committee that scrutinises the work of MI5 and MI6. That's pretty classified, you would think. Another piece of paper details links between Al-Qaeda and Pakistan; so, not just a note about getting more milk from the office tea fund!
Additionally of course, he is a constituency MP and constituents' letters, with addresses, telephone numbers, and, of course, details of their problem(s) were among the papers left for all to see.
I thought that constituents' letters were supposed to be retained for follow ups, and I know that I would be unhappy to put it mildly, if any of my letters to an MP were left in a park for anyone to read.
I know Cameron has his hands full with Fox, and he may have them even more full if the Cabinet Secretary's inquiry, (or the press) comes up with more information proving criminality rather than stupidity and lack of judgement on the part of the ex-Defence Secretary. It has even been suggested that Fox may be guilty of Treason.
However, surely Cameron can't simply accept an apology from Letwin and let that be the end of the matter?
Hard though it may be for David to lose 2 ministers in one week, Letwin should also stand down. Further, in view of the disrespect he has shown to his constituents, I'd suggest the Chiltern Hundreds or the Manor of Northstead and a return to the academic life to which he is much better suited.
At the same time Letwin is far too clever and far too stupid to be in government.
Picture thanks to Cynical Highlander