Labour's Shadow Attorney General Emily Thornberry has described the accidental transfer of documents to the wrong person by the Serious Fraud Office as "incompetence of the first magnitude".
The SFO has stumbled from shambles to shambles, with the Attorney General completely failing to get a grip. It looks as if this blunder would never even have been revealed if he had not been compelled by Labour to divulge the information to Parliament. His account of what has happened raises more questions than it answers. How did this happen? What category of documents are we talking about here? Who received them by mistake? How much of the evidence has been destroyed? What is the Government doing to ensure that this never happens again?
Incompetence like this threatens to have an impact on the reputation of the UK and its relations overseas. People will be wondering how many other skeletons there are in the SFO cupboard that the Attorney General is aware of but is declining to make public. The Government needs to get a grip, get to the bottom of this mess and come clean about exactly what went wrong and how.