Allies of Damian Green are said to regard his dismissal as the culmination of a nine-year vendetta by police, orchestrated by Bob Quick, the former Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner.
Mr Quick oversaw a controversial investigation in 2008 into leaks from the Home Office which led to Mr Green’s arrest, a raid on his Westminster office and the seizure of his parliamentary computers.
The Scotland Yard officer faced such heavy criticism over the inquiry that when he made a security blunder in April 2009, inadvertently revealing details of an anti-terror operation, support for him quickly drained away and he resigned.
Implicit in the suggestion of the “vendetta” theory is that the first secretary of state’s dismissal was somehow “payback” by Mr Quick for that career-ending leaks inquiry.
But the reality is that Mr Green was the architect of his own downfall.