Theresa May’s No.2 Damian Green resigns due to Pornography Lies

Damian Green was appointed First Secretary of State and Minister for the Cabinet Office on 11 June 2017. He was elected Conservative MP for Ashford in 1997.

Green was appointed First Secretary of State on June 11, 2017 under Theresa May, her de facto No. 2

On December 20, 2017 Green was forced to resign as First Secretary of State after a seven-week investigation by the Cabinet Office led by Sue Gray, Cabinet Office’s head of propriety and ethics, found that he had misled the public in two statements he made last month denying the police had ever told him about the material being found in a raid on his office in 2008.

Damian Green resigns as First Secretary of State as statements he had made were inaccurate and misleading. Caircature Cartoon. APT

The Cabinet Office enquiry was originally launched after a complaint of inappropriate behaviour towards women after complaints by writer, Kate Maltby.

Damian Green has apologised to Maltby in his resignation letter to May, Green states “I deeply regret the distress caused to Kate Maltby following her article about me and the reaction to it. I do not recognise the events she described in her article, but I clearly made her feel uncomfortable and for this I apologise.”

In May’s response to Green’s letter she adds “I have also carefully considered the report’s conclusions in relation to two statements you made on 4 and 11 November which you now accept were inaccurate and misleading. This falls short of the Seven Principles of Public Life and is a breach of the Ministerial Code.”

May announced the report’s findings at 8.39pm on Wednesday December 20, MPs will not now have a chance to question her about it until January 8, when MPs return from their Christmas break.

History of Damian Green Pornography Row

2007/2008

Leakerd official documents from Home Office are published in National Newspapers, weakening Gordan Brown’s government. Metropolitan Police investigate, Bob Quick leads inquiry

2008 November 28

Bob Quick orders arrest of Damian Green, then shadow immigration spokesman on suspicion of “conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office” and “aiding and abetting misconduct in public office

Late 2008

Police find “extreme” pornographic material on one of Damian Green’s computers. This is not reported.

2009 April 8

Bob Quick resigns after being photographed carrying sensitive anti-terror documents for a meeting at No.10 Downing Street

2009 April 16

Police investigation into Green is ended after it was decided that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute

Early 2015

Green meets Kate Maltby. Maltby claims during the conversation that Green “mentioned that his own wife was very understanding. I felt a fleeting hand against my knee – so brief, it was almost deniable.”

2016 June 1

Maltby receives text from Green stating “Long time no see. But having admired you in a corset in my favourite tabloid I feel impelled to ask if you are free for a drink sometime.”

2017 November 1

Maltby writes in the Times about their previous encounter “He offered me career advice and in the same breath made it clear he was sexually interested.”

2017 November 2

Cabinet Office, launches inquiry into Green’s conduct. The enquiry is led by Sue Gray

2017 November 5

It is reported that pronography was found on one of Green’s computers during the 2008 enquiry into government links. The Sunday Times cites a statement by Bob Quick.

Quick’s draft statement, read: “No criminal offences were involved, but it was recognised that if similar circumstances pertained to a public servant, such as a member of the police force, this could result in a gross misconduct proceedings and dismissal.”

The Cabinet Office inquiry is broadened to include the pornography claims.

2017 December 1

Neil Lewis, a detective who examined Green’s computer, says it contained thousands of pornographic images.

2017 December 20

Green resigns

Damian Green’s letter to Prime Minister Theresa May

Dear Prime Minister,

I regret that I’ve been asked to resign from the government following breaches of the Ministerial Code, for which I apologise. It has been a privilege to serve in your government both as secretary of state for work and pensions and as first secretary of state and minister for the Cabinet Office.

It was also a great pleasure to work with you in the Home Office both as minister for immigration and as minister for policing, criminal justice and victims. Your years as home secretary were a model of reforming institutions in the interests of the wider public.

I share and support your vision of a country that works for everyone, using Conservative policies to help those who have for too long been disadvantaged. In particular I am pleased to have published the Race Disparity Audit and to have started the government on a road to a reformed social care system.

From the outset I have been clear that I did not download or view pornography on my parliamentary computers. I accept that I should have been clear in my press statements that police lawyers talked to my lawyers in 2008 about the pornography on the computers, and that the police raised it with me in a subsequent phone call in 2013.

I apologise that my statements were misleading on this point. The unfounded and deeply hurtful allegations that were being levelled at me were distressing both to me and my family and it is right that these are being investigated by the Metropolitan police’s professional standards department.

I am grateful that the cabinet secretary has concluded that my conduct as a minister has generally been both professional and proper. I deeply regret the distress caused to Kate Maltby following her article about me and the reaction to it. I do not recognise the events she described in her article, but I clearly made her feel uncomfortable and for this I apologise.

Finally I would like to give heartfelt thanks to my parliamentary colleagues and my Ashford constituents for the huge support they have shown me in recent weeks. I will continue to argue for the modernising conservatism I have always believed in.

Yours,
Damian

Theresa May’s letter in response:

I am extremely sad to be writing this letter. We have been friends and colleagues throughout our whole political lives – from our early days at university, entering the House of Commons at the same election, and serving alongside each other both in opposition and in government. As secretary of state for work and pensions, and as first secretary of state, you have brought great wisdom, good sense, and a commitment to helping the most vulnerable to my cabinets in this parliament and the last. I have greatly appreciated your hard work and the contribution you have made to my team, just as I did at the Home Office, where you served as immigration minister and minister for policing and criminal justice, helping to drive through important but often difficult reforms.

Like you, I know the vast majority of our police to be diligent and honourable public servants, working hard to protect the public and maintain law and order. But I shared the concerns raised from across the political spectrum when your parliamentary office was raided in 2008 when you were a Shadow Home Office Minister holding the then Labour Government to account. And I share the concerns, raised once again from across the political spectrum, at the comments made by a former officer involved in that case in recent weeks. I am glad that the commissioner of the Metropolitan police has condemned that, made clear that police officers’ duty of confidentiality endures after they leave the force, and that the Metropolitan police’s professional standards department are reviewing the comments which have been made.

When allegations were raised about your personal conduct, I asked the cabinet secretary to establish as far as possible the facts of the case and provide advice on whether or not there had been a breach of the Ministerial Code. He has produced a thorough report which concludes that your conduct as a minister has generally been both professional and proper.

You have expressed your regret for the distress caused to Ms Maltby following her article about you and the reaction to it. I appreciate that you do not recognise the events Ms Maltby described in the article, but you do recognise that you made her feel uncomfortable and it is right that you have apologised.

I know that you share my determination to ensure that everyone who wants to play their part in our political life should feel able to do so – without fear or harassment, and knowing they can speak out if they need to. Equally, it is right that those who put themselves forward to serve the public should also be accorded the respect of a private life within the law.

I have also carefully considered the report’s conclusions in relation to two statements you made on 4 and 11 November which you now accept were inaccurate and misleading. This falls short of the Seven Principles of Public Life and is a breach of the Ministerial Code – a conclusion which has been endorsed by Sir Alex Allan, the independent adviser on ministers’ interests. While I can understand the considerable distress caused to you by some of the allegations which have been made in recent weeks, I know that you share my commitment to maintaining the high standards which the public demands of ministers of the crown.

It is therefore with deep regret, and enduring gratitude for the contribution you have made over many years, that I asked you to resign from the government and have accepted your resignation.

Yours ever
Theresa

Damian Green’s Previous roles in government

  1. Minister for the Cabinet Office
    • 2017 to 2017
  2. First Secretary of State
    • 2017 to 2017
  3. Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
    • 2016 to 2017
  4. Minister for Policing, Fire and Criminal Justice and Victims
    • 2012 to 2014
  5. Minister of State
    • 2010 to 2012

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