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Montevideo, April 25th 2018 - 14:19 UTC

Theresa May loses one of her closest allies in the cabinet to pornography allegations

Friday, December 22nd 2017 - 10:51 UTC
Full article 3 comments
Green, 61, who as first secretary of state was effectively the PM's deputy, is the third cabinet minister to resign in the space of two months Green, 61, who as first secretary of state was effectively the PM's deputy, is the third cabinet minister to resign in the space of two months
Mrs. May expressed “deep regret” at Mr. Green's departure but said his actions “fell short” of the conduct expected of a cabinet minister. Mrs. May expressed “deep regret” at Mr. Green's departure but said his actions “fell short” of the conduct expected of a cabinet minister.

Damian Green, one of British Prime Minister Theresa May's closest allies, has been sacked from the cabinet after an inquiry found he had breached the ministerial code. He was “asked to quit” after he was found to have made “inaccurate and misleading” statements over what he knew about claims pornography was found on his office computer in 2008.

 He also apologized for making writer Kate Maltby feel uncomfortable in 2015.

Green, 61, who as first secretary of state was effectively the PM's deputy, is the third cabinet minister to resign in the space of two months - Sir Michael Fallon and Priti Patel both quit in November.

In her written response, Mrs. May expressed “deep regret” at Mr. Green's departure but said his actions “fell short” of the conduct expected of a cabinet minister. Like Mrs. May, Mr. Green campaigned for Remain in last year's EU referendum and had been a leading voice in Cabinet for a “softer” Brexit.

He had been under investigation regarding allegations of inappropriate behavior towards journalist and Tory activist Ms Maltby. He denied suggestions that he made unwanted advances towards her in 2015.

He also denied that he had either downloaded or viewed pornography on a computer removed from his Commons office in 2008 and said police had “never suggested to me that improper material was found”

In his resignation letter, Mr Green said statements he made about what he knew about the pornography could have been “clearer”, conceding that his lawyers had been informed by Met Police lawyers about their initial discovery in 2008 and the police had also raised the matter with him in a phone call in 2013.

“I apologize that my statements were misleading on this point,” he said.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt told BBC Radio 4's Today program Mr Green had “lied” about “a particular incident” and that was why he had to go but it was a “sad moment”.

Asked if his departure left Theresa May more isolated, he said “leadership is lonely” but she had shown “extraordinary resilience in very challenging circumstances” and was someone “who is capable of taking very difficult decisions”.

An official report by the Cabinet Office found that public statements he made relating to what he knew about the claims were “inaccurate and misleading” and constituted a breach of the ministerial code.

The report also found that although there were “competing and contradictory accounts of what were private meetings” between himself and Ms Maltby, the investigation found her account “to be plausible”.

Her parents, Colin and Victoria Maltby, said in a statement they were not surprised to find that the inquiry found Mr Green to have been “untruthful as a minister, nor that they found our daughter to be a plausible witness”.

They praised their 31-year-old daughter for her courage in speaking out about the “abuse of authority”. Ms Maltby is not commenting on Mr. Green's resignation until she receives more details from the Cabinet Office.

Mrs. May, who has known Mr Green since they were contemporaries at Oxford, brought him into the cabinet after she became PM in 2016 and promoted him to first secretary of state in July. Since then, he has played a substantial role behind the scenes chairing key cabinet committees and has also deputized for Mrs. May at Prime Minister's Questions.

It is not clear who will replace him in those roles but unconfirmed reports have suggested there will be no announcement until the New Year, with Parliament due to go on recess.

Categories: Politics, International.

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules
  • EscoSesDoidao

    Looks like 'Hunt the _ _ _ _' is the only one who called him for what he is, - A liar.

    Dec 22nd, 2017 - 11:24 am 0
  • ElaineB

    Silly to have lied about it when nothing on the computer was illegal. (Morally questionable but not illegal). I hope the police officer who revealed the information that was never part of a police prosecution is prosecuted. What was a retired police officer doing with confidential information in his home?

    Dec 22nd, 2017 - 05:54 pm 0
  • Asha

    The question is why is this piece appearing in Mercopenguin, a British government propaganda organ supposedly devoted to America, South America and the “South Atlantic”?

    Dec 24th, 2017 - 03:55 am 0
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