When he learned that the Mail on Sunday were running an embarrassing story about his wife's car-hire business, Assistant Commissioner "Boring" Bob Quick immediately assumed that the Tories must be behind it. Sherlock Holmes-like powers of deduction, after all, are part of the job description for the nation's senior counter-terrorism officer, along with a steady nerve, political nous and an ability to sort the wheat from the chaff. So the fact that there is no evidence to link any Conservative, high or low, to the incident should not necessarily be taken as proof of innocence on their part. On the other hand, Bob did later withdraw his allegation.
If not the Tories, then who? Suspicions quickly fell on police colleagues who had scores to settle, or perhaps it was all an innocent mistake, a satisfied customer who couldn't resist telling the world what a splendid service Mrs Quick's team of ex-police drivers provided. Perhaps the Diane Davies who was quoted in the Mail that Judith Quick had told her all about her husband's career had something to do with it. Certainly, she posted a gushing testimonial on the company's website. Perhaps.
But here's an interesting piece of gossip I picked up in a police chatroom:
There is a story going around that gutter press reporter Nick Watt, of the Guardian, was the man who leaked the story. Apparently, he and Boring Bob had a spat, and Watt threatened to 'get him', which he appears to have done. There is another rumour that Boring Bob will be moved sideways to another job when the melee has died down. In charge of Fleet Management would appear a good move for him.
Checking Nick Watt's Guardian profile, I discover that the political correspondent has posted no fewer than five reports on the story in the past 48 hours. In addition, he wrote a blog yesterday which hinted that the Conservatives might have been behind the story after all, on the basis that they "have long had Quick in their sights". In the orignal version of the post, indeed, Watt asserted that David Cameron himself was gunning for the copper. Watt also quoted a "senior Tory" as saying after Damian Green's arrest, "Bob Quick is behind this. I'm going to fucking get him this time."
So clearly someone is out to get poor Bob. But does Watt (who has also been taking a close interest in the Damian Green inquirty) have inside information - and the rumour about him a perhaps a garbled version of his own blog comments? Or is he just trying to shift the blame? Intriguing.